The Jackson County Commission recently held a regular meeting with a work session following on Monday, June 13, 2022. At the meeting, several motions were carried, including a hazard mitigation plan update for storm shelters.
“We’ve been notified by the state Emergency Management Agency (EMA) that FEMA is ready to obligate $400,000 for our first four storm shelters, but they cannot do that until we have a resolution to accept the new hazard mitigation,” stated EMA Director Paul Smith.
Smith also presented another motion to approve a hazard mitigation grant program, DR-4503, with matching assurance for Highlands Medical Center (HMC). Currently, HMC is using a generator that cannot service their MRI machine. Smith stated that should HMC experience another power outage akin to the one in 2011, HMC’s most important diagnostic tool would be out of commission. Smith presented a letter that assured the Commission and EMA that HMC would be picking up the matching 25%, but because of how the grant is written, it must first come through the Commission and EMA. The grant would fund $1.5million to replace the generator.
The Council On Aging motioned for the Commission to approve and sign their annual agreement with the Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments (TARCOG), allowing the COA to provide Medicare and Medicaid assistance to assist others in deciding which plans my benefit them.
The transfer of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the Scottsboro Jackson Rescue Squad was also carried, allowing the funds to go toward new doors, ensuring safety and efficiency for the Rescue Squad.
A motion to approve Scottsboro City Councilmember Mike Ashburn as voting custodian for the upcoming runoff election taking place on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.
In the following work session, the Commission was updated on the Skyline School storm shelter placement that hit a snag when it was found the proposed site for the installation was actually on Skyline Heritage Farms land, and would therefore require an archaeological survey to determine if the shelter could be placed on that site. Smith stated that it was in the plans for the survey to be done over the whole of Skyline Heritage Farms, but seeing how that cost would come to $100,000, Smith has asked FEMA to see if they can scale back the survey to only the proposed placement area for the storm shelter.
A representative from the Jackson County Revenue Commission was present to discuss the insolvency list. Currently, when a business owner owes on their taxes, and they close up and move away, it is nearly impossible for them to be tracked. When business owners who do not pay their taxes and leave belongings and equipment behind, the County places them on this list, which details what the County will not be collecting upon. Until they pay what they owe, they will not be allowed to file for another business license in another location, according to the state of Alabama.
The gutters at the Liberty Lane Building were also discussed. The commissioners later set aside the rules to allow them to vote on the winning contractor bid for $10,310.20, with Commissioner Jason Venable abstaining for reasons that he associates with the contractor in a professional capacity. The commissioners also set aside the rules to allow them to vote on an issue concerning the Sanitation Department. Because of inflation, more money was needed to cover the costs of tires and fuel. This problem has also presented itself in the Public Works Department. Initially, $160,000 was thought to be more than enough to cover the annual expenses for Sanitation. Bill Manning, County Superintendent, stated they would need an additional $75,000 to cover the rest of the year. Total expenditures for Public Works and Sanitation were eventually extended to an extra $130,000. As it stands now, the revenue will be able to cover this amendment.
by Martha Smith