Sasser seeks re-election

Published 11:08 am Monday, January 9, 2012

Lynn Sasser has announced his intent to seek re-election as chairman of the Covington County Commission.

“It has been a great pleasure to serve as your chairman for this term, and I’m looking forward to serving you again,” Sasser said.

“We, as a commission, have accomplished some very important projects,” he said.

“We have worked diligently to improve the county finances,” he said. “As a result, we have been able to balance the county budget and reduce the debt by $3 million.”

He said over the course of the last three years, the commission has reduced its equipment debt by approximately $2.2 million, and has also replaced motor graders with new fuel-efficient units. The county also has reduced its overall, long-term debt.

“Our engineer and his crew have placed limestone rocks on approximately 150 miles of dirt roads, which is a tremendous help for those who travel those roads regularly,” Sasser said. “Last year, our roads ranked No. 8 in the state of Alabama in terms of condition.”

The commission also implemented weight limits on county roads to prevent damage from overloaded trucks.

“We separated the EMA and E-911 functions and established a new, modern emergency operations center in the county administration building,” Sasser said. “We received some grant funds to help accomplish this, and it is a state of the art facility.”

The county also leased the Covington Center Arena and the Point A Park for a total savings of $275,000 per year. Other cost-saving measures included limiting the use of county vehicles to business use only and reducing or limiting service on 59 SouthernLink devices. The Link changes alone saved $10,000 annually.

The county has been involved in improvements and economic development efforts at Southeast Alabama Regional Airport, and has entered into recreation agreements with the City of Andalusia, the City of Opp, and the City of Florala.

The commission also made improvements at the courthouse, including a new roof, elevator and new doors, and replaced the phone systems in both the courthouse and administration building.

Overall, the county’s finances are healthier, he said.

“Our FYE 2010 audit report reflected that all county funds ended with positive fund balances for the first time since FYE 1999,” he said. “The general fund closed with a $1 million fund balance, as opposed to $189,000 in FYE 2008.”

“I believe decisions made by the commission in this term aided in turning the county in a new direction,” he said.

Sasser is a Republican ticket.