• 61°

Public meeting set to discuss road repairs and grants

EAST FRANKLIN – County officials will hold a public meeting next week to garner support for a grant that would pay for road repairs stemming from the April 27, 2011, tornado outbreak.
At their meeting on Monday, county commissioners approved a public meeting for Thursday, June 27, at 6 p.m. in the East Franklin Junior High School cafeteria to discuss the grant and road repairs with members of the East Franklin community.
Franklin County Commission chairman Barry Moore said the grant was a community development block grant (CDBG) that is funded by the Supplemental Disaster Assistance Program, which receives its funding from a special allocation Alabama secured from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Franklin County Highway Engineer David Palmer said the grant would pay for repairs to certain roads in East Franklin that were severely damaged during the cleanup process following the April 27, 2011 tornado.
“There was an overwhelming amount of damage to the East Franklin community as a result of the April 27 tornado,” Palmer said.
“Because of this, there was a significant amount of debris that had to be cleared, and the heavy trucks and equipment that had to be used during that process damaged several of the roads in that area.”
Palmer sad there was over $1 million worth of repairs that needed to be made to these particular roads – money that simply isn’t available in the county highway budget.
“If we were able to secure this grant, we would be able to pay for all these repairs without any cost to the county or the taxpayers,” Palmer said.
According to Moore, the grant would be 100 percent funded and require no matching funds from the county.
Moore said the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) will administer the $25 million grant, which will be open to six counties including Franklin County.
“There is a good bit of money that has been made available that will help us make these road repairs, but there will be five other counties who will be applying for the same grant money,” Moore said.
“The more community support we have for this grant, the better our chances will be in securing some of this funding, so that’s why we are holding the public meeting in the East Franklin community.
“We hope as many residents as possible will come out to this meeting to discuss these road repairs and ways we can continue to rebuild and restore their community.”

In other business, this commission also discussed the following items:
• Approved budget amendments for the Sheriff’s Department and the jail.
• Approved the Aramark contract.
• Approved the errors and insolvents.
• Accepted the resignations of Clint Dotson and Bruce Jackson from the Franklin County Industrial Development Board.
• Voted to leave the employee vehicle policy as it is currently.
• Approved asphalt bids from Rogers Group.
• Set a public hearing concerning the Turner Street railroad crossing for July 15, 2013, at 8 a.m.
• Approved strip patching repairs for Green Road, Pritchard Road and Robinson Road.
• Approved the purchase of a sign truck and a GMC diesel dump truck for the highway department that were being sold as state surplus equipment.
• Approved to let bids on the rehabilitation project on Nix Mill bridge.
• Rejected all bids for surplus property from the solid waste department.
• Accepted the retirement of Pam Ergle after 27 years of service to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
• Promoted FCSO employee Michael Yancey to the rank of sergeant.
• Approved a resolution for sex offender fees to be given straight to the sheriff’s office.
• Voted to join a class action lawsuit on unpaid deed taxes without any cost to the county or taxpayers.