Probate’s office announces new free recording service at commission meeting

Published 1:00 pm Friday, February 16, 2024

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The Covington County Commission heard from Probate Judge Stacy Brooks about a new recording service in the Probate’s office and approved several other items at a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

The Real Estate Activity Alert and Contact Tool, known as REAACT, is a free service to the public that will alert property owners of potential fraud when land records are recorded with their names.

“If somebody comes into our office with a deed that was forged with your name and records it, this service – if you sign up for it – will notify you of the transaction and allow you to have access to it. While we cannot handle legal matters in the Probate’s office, you can notify the Sheriff and take the proper steps to have the issue resolved,” Probate Judge Stacy Brooks said. “It’s a free tool that is geared to help prevent fraud.”

To register for the program visit and click on the Records/R.E.A.A.C.T. link.

“While it has not been a common issue in our office, this was a new program available through a vendor. It was no charge, and I felt like it was a smart tool to be able to provide back to the citizens,” Brooks added.

Brooks also gave an update in regards to voting precincts for citizens through the county’s new GIS tool.

“Some people have been affected by their voting precinct being changed because of the new mapping program. This is a result of human error from over the years where we have relied on paper maps. As required by state law, an updated voter’s list was recently issued and published in the newspaper. We encourage everyone to view this list and identify the precinct they are to vote in. The Board of Registrars is now in the process of mailing out cards to citizens whose precincts have changed due to the new GIS system mapping. If they receive the card and have any questions, they can contact the Board of Registrars or my office to be sure their information is correct in the system,” she said.

Revenue Commissioner Chuck Patterson provided an update on unpaid property taxes.

“We have approximately $700,000 remaining to be collected from a starting $16 million. We will have a new tax sale conducted online rather than on the courthouse steps that will begin in a couple of weeks,” Patterson said.

In other business:

  • The commission adopted a resolution in support of voting “yes” to Amendment 1 on the upcoming primary election on March 5. The constitutional amendment will simplify the process of passing local bills in the legislature. It will be the only amendment on the ballot.
  • The commission approved out-of-state travel for a sheriff’s deputy who attended an interrogation class in Escambia County, Florida. Commission policy states that any out-of-state travel by County officials or employees must be approved by the commission at an open meeting.
  • The commission approved declaring two vehicles in the Sheriff’s Department as surplus. Those are a 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe and a 2001 Ford F-150. These vehicles will be listed through GovDeals or another online auction.
  • The commission accepted a petition to close a portion of HD Wilson Road in the county. The road is a dead-end road that has four landowners who requested a petition through the Engineer’s Department. This petition is the first step in the local process of vacating or closing the road. There will ultimately be an advertised public hearing on the petition to allow input from affected citizens.
  • The commission approved a request for the Engineer’s Department to seek bids on road improvements for County Road 107 at State Route 55.
  • The commission approved a request for the Engineer’s Department to seek bids for seed and fertilizer.

The next meeting of the Covington County Commission will be held Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 9 a.m., at the Covington County Administration Building. The public is invited to attend.