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County closing Fire House Road

In their first official action as commissioners Wednesday, aside from setting a date and time for the meetings and naming the county attorney, commissioners agreed to close Fire House Road in order to allow for the South Alabama Regional Airport Authority to extend the runway by 1,000 feet. The closure is effective Monday, but commissioners agreed to permanently close the road on Nov. 24.

A public hearing was held and no opposition was heard. Opp Mayor and ex-officio member of the airport authority H.D. Edgar said the runway project is vital for growth of not only the airport but also for the county.

“We can’t extend the runway without the land,” Edgar said. “And some exciting things are happening out at the airport — new jobs, growth.”

District 2 Commissioner Bragg Carter said the runway will extend across the county road and there will be a cul-de-sac at the end to allow for aircraft turnaround. There are not any private landowners affected by the closure, he said.

“We just want to give the public a few extra days to make preparations if they travel that way,” he said.

The first organizational meeting of the Covington County Commission ended without any major changes to the way the county conducts its business.

The commission will still hold its regular meetings on the second and fourth Mondays at 9:30 a.m.; however, newly elected Chairman Lynn Sasser said he had been approached by some about holding meetings at different locations in the county throughout the year.

“I had been approached by Florala Mayor Robert Williamson about having a meeting sometime after the first of the year at Florala City Hall,” Sasser said. “I said it would bring it before y’all, but I think it would be something good.

“It might be a little inconvenient for some to have to drive, but David Ellis has said he’d like to see us come to Opp,” he said. “I’d like to see a way to accommodate them.”

Ellis, the district 1 commissioner, said he would like to discuss the matter with the other commissioners before making a decision and asked that the motion be tabled. Each decided it would be one of the matters discussed at a future workshop, the date of which has not yet been set.

Commissioners also agreed to appoint Ellis as the commission’s vice chairman and to re-appoint Julie Moody of Albrittons, Clifton, Alverson, Bowden and Moody, as the county’s attorney.

In other business, the commission:

awarded a bid to Hayes Construction for the county’s EWP (Emergency Watershed Protection) projects in the amount of $163,340.40. Currently there are seven projects under way in cooperation with the Soil and Water Conservation District to shore up bridges damaged during recent rains.

announced the surplus vehicles from the Covington County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) will be sold on www.govdeals.com.