Opp seeks funds for splash pad

Published 7:30 am Wednesday, March 9, 2022

The Covington County Commission listened to comments from City of Opp Mayor Becky Bracke and addressed five additional topics at a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.

Mayor Bracke requested assistance with funding for a new splash pad to be established in Opp.

“I think Opp is seeing more investor and consumer confidence than it has in a long time. The last time I looked, we’re the tenth safest city in the state of Alabama. Our hospital is the most important thing for retirees. Both Opp and Andalusia are very lucky to have two hospitals still standing. We love retirees but have been thinking about the young people lately. For us to improve our workforce, schools, and athletic programs, we have to get young people to our city. We need more activities and are in the process of getting a complex on the bypass, which will benefit the entire county and not just Opp. Last summer, I kept hearing people were going to splash pads in Andalusia and Elba, and that’s what I want to do here in Opp. Land was donated to us across the street from our city pool and is a great location near the park. It is very important for people who are moving in to have things for their children to do. I’m coming to you today to ask for your help and from other entities because Opp is involved in a lot of projects right now. I would really appreciate you all considering helping Opp with the splash pad,” she said.

Chairman Greg White added that Bracke requested the commission to consider an investment in the splash pad project.

“We made a contribution to the City of Andalusia’s splash pad project about three or four years ago. I know the commission would be inclined to work with Opp, so we will review the whole bid and how we are going to participate,” he said.

Fred Hartin petitioned the commission to pave 5.3 miles of Rosin Ridge Road in the Loango community.

“We have a project I would like to see paved, which goes from Loango Road to Plywood Mill Road. There are 5.3 miles of dirt road and five culverts that would have to be maintained. I am requesting the process on how to start this procedure from the county commission. There currently appear to be 54 active mailboxes serving that road and another 12 mailboxes on feeder roads, which serve the same road. School buses have had a good bit of problems in past times on traveling part of the road,” Hartin said.

District 4 Commissioner Tommy McGaha said the home-to-mile density plays a large part in how paving projects are determined that are exclusive to the county financially.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think Rosin Ridge is high on that list. I understand there is a warrant for wanting to get it paved, and there are other options. The Engineer’s office has worked with other communities to have them collect money and pay for the materials to get portions of roads paved. We can get the Engineer’s office to look at it a little further and give them a rough idea of what needs to be collected. Mr. Hartin is asking if the residents would be willing to, and if so, how much they would be willing to put in.”

White said the commission would note Hartin’s presence at the meeting as the start of the petitioning process. “If you want to bring us a list of people who show support for the project in addition to yourself, that would be appropriate. We have a little bit of new paving money because of the Rebuild Alabama program that went into place about three or four years ago. It provides about $800,000 of resurfacing or new paving funds that we did not have in previous years. That gives us a chance to at least consider more projects than we have in the past.”

County Engineer Lynn Ralls offered to break down a percentage of each landowner and his or her participation in the project for Hartin.

In other business:

  • The commission approved reappointing the following individuals to the Covington County Recreational Board: Jed Blackwell, Andrew Carter, Shane Cook, and Paul Whatley. The commission also approved an appointment for Brian Cox to replace Clint Veasey, who stepped down from his position.
  • The commission approved a three-year contract renewal with Kimble for commissary/store services at the Covington County Jail.
  • The commission approved a solicitation of bids for rock.
  • The commission gave final approval on the emergency purchase of used motor graders by the engineering department from Flint Equipment Company.
  • The commission approved the disposal of surplus property.
  • The commission amended the Rebuild Alabama Plan to allow County Engineer Lynn Ralls to purchase pipe for a project on County Road 107.

The next meeting of the Covington County Commission will be held Tuesday, March 22, 9 a.m., at the Covington County Administration Building. The public is invited to attend.