Supply issues lead county to purchase graders

Published 9:15 am Thursday, February 24, 2022

The Covington County Commission addressed several areas of interest and also made a board appointment at a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.

The commission approved the purchase of eight motor graders at a cost of $1.038 million to carry over to the next budget year. These are used graders and will provide a temporary fleet to use until new graders ordered are delivered. While the new graders were expected to arrive in March, due to supply chain issues, the new fleet is not expected until the last quarter of this year.

“We have a fleet of seven that are at the end of their five-year lease. Those will be ready to go back to the company in March. We had ordered replacement graders for delivery in February 2022, but because of supply chain issues, those graders will not be delivered for nine more months. We had to do something in the interim and found these used graders to put on our fleet for a temporary basis. We’re buying them and at the end, we will sell them at auction and should recover most, if not, all of our money,” said Commission Chairman Greg White.

The commission approved a change in procedures for accessing “store” funds for inmates at the Covington County Jail, which will now be a contract for a debit card system. “These cards are going to be provided and take them away from being on a computer somewhere. Effectively, it will give that inmate a little bit better control of his funds. He will have what amounts to a debit card to use toward purchases at the store, and we’re going along with what the Sheriff said. There’s a contract with the bank for the cards,” White said.

A family petitioned the commission and the Probate Judge for approval of a family cemetery.

“There are guidelines that have long been in place, and we just have to go through the proper procedures to make sure those are met. Those include elevations of the property, soil maps, and location of the plots within the cemetery boundaries, which can be no closer than 35 feet of the boundary property and 100 feet from a private well. It’s an administrative procedure we go through with guidelines in place for us to adhere to. As with all cemeteries, it will be recorded in the Probate’s office,” White said.

The commission gave preliminary approval for the Twelve Oaks Subdivision.

“The preliminary development was done 12 or 14 years ago. They put it on hold and are coming back to revive that effort. They will be selling lots out of that subdivision, so there are steps related to that development. We have regulations we follow for subdivision properties.”

In other business:

  • The commission appointed Kristi Hildreth to serve a six-year term on the board for the Covington County Department of Human Resources.
  • The commission renewed the county levies for alcohol licensing, which are currently at the highest rates on every item.
  • The commission agreed to discuss the purchase of vehicles for the Sheriff’s Department at a future meeting.
  • The commission agreed to purchase a 2022 Ford F-150 crew cab pickup.
  • The commission approved transferring two trucks from the Appraisal Department to the Engineer’s Department. In addition, the Engineer’s Department declared three trucks as surplus.
  • The commission approved approval of an IT consulting agreement on service related to servers and switches at a monthly cost of $400 and $4,400 annually.

The next meeting of the Covington County Commission will be held Tuesday, March 8, 9 a.m., at the Covington County Administration Building. The public is invited to attend.