By Tiffeny Owens
The Cullman Times
Cullman County crews will soon begin putting a $25,000 grant to work by cleaning out sediment from the pond at Clarkson Covered Bridge Park.
The county will receive the funding from the Alabama Mountains, Rivers and Valleys Resource Conservation and Development Council in Hartselle. It does not require matching funds, but the county plans to use in-kind work on the grant, said Matt Kinsland, project coordinator with the Cullman County Economic Development office which is handling the grant.
“They say the pond used to be 12 to 14 feet deep, but now it’s only about a foot deep because of all the dirt and silt has built up in it,” said Doug Davenport, Cullman County Parks and Recreation Director. “I think the county tried to clean it out before, but it wasn’t successful.”
Kinsland said the project will hopefully restore the pond for recreational use again. County Engineer Jon Brunner said crews plan to use an excavator to carefully remove the dirt without the heavy machinery sinking into the pond.
The Cullman County Commission conducted other business Tuesday:
‰ Approved Oct. 22 meeting minutes, appropriations, expenditures, requisitions and all journal entries to be posted.
‰ Held public hearing related to vacation of Cullman County 828 in Logan. The road is a cut-through road, and property owners petitioned to have it vacated. No one from the public commented.
‰ Approved vacating CR- 828.
‰ Set speed limit for CR- 1515 in Goldridge to 30 mph after receiving petitions from property owners in the wake of a wreck this past month. The road has not had a posted speed limit.
‰ Vacated Old Buck Pond Road from U.S. 278 to CR-735 in Berlin. The road has not been in public use for the past two decades.
‰ Approved declaring abandoned an unimproved road from CR-1518 to CR-1528 in Fairview. The road has not been in public use for the past three decades, and there are currently trees growing in the middle of it.
‰ Accepted CR-1210 in West Wind Acres subdivision, located in District 1 off Alabama 157. The county will accept only part of the road which is located outside the town limits of West Point.
‰ Designated bank depositories for county funds.
‰ Approved County Attorney Heath Meherg’s answer to a complaint for declaratory judgment filed by Hugh C. Harris, Clifford Hoyt Harris, Janet Drummond Jean and Marcia Drummond Bailey. The county was named a party to the suit because the two sides are in disagreement over whether CR-109 is a county road or not. Meherg said in his answer, he cites county maintenance records that show the county has worked on the road in the past. The court will have to decide whether or not the road is in the county or not, Meherg said.
‰ Authorized pre-application for airport improvement grant with the Federal Aviation Administration. Three proposed projects total more than $4 million, but the county anticipates receiving funding for only one project. The projects are $2.6 million to resurface runways, $1.1 million to rehabilitate and extend the south taxiway and $318,425 to resurface north apron. The funds require a 10 percent local match which will be split accordingly: 5 percent paid by state, 2.5 percent by county and 2.5 percent paid by city of Cullman.
‰ Authorized pre-application with the Alabama Department of Transportation for apron rehabilitation for the Cullman Regional Airport. The grant would cover the $318,425 cost to resurface north apron which is deteriorating. The grant requires a 50 percent match, which will be split 25 percent by the county and 25 percent by the city of Cullman.
‰ Approved exempting sheriff’s department and Cullman County Emergency Management Agency employees from safety policy prohibiting using wireless devices (cellphones, computers, radios, etc...) while driving. Those employees can use the devices as long as it is in the scope of their employment, i.e. no personal calls.
‰ Authorized Chairman Kenneth Walker and EMA Director Phyllis Little to sign fiscal 2013 Emergency Management Preparedness Grants (EMPG) agreement. Cullman County EMA will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for $50,244, up $500 from fiscal 2012.
‰ Ratified signing of contract with St. Bernard Abbey for use of its Abbey Byre for the Arts for a Association of County Commissions of Alabama sponsored meeting for Cullman, Winston and Lawrence counties 9 a.m. Friday.
‰ Approved $6,500 expenditure to Otis Elevator in Birmingham to repair courthouse elevator.
‰ Reappointed Tom Beason to Solid Waste Authority Board for a four-year term to expire Nov. 20, 2017.
‰ Approved Grandview’s request for $500 for polling maintenance and operational support at voting precinct.
‰ Approved Beat 8’s request for $500 for polling maintenance and operational support at voting precinct.
‰ Approved Simcoe’s request for $500 for polling maintenance and operational support at voting precinct.
‰ Ratified the following personnel actions: Juvenile Detention, Sharae “Noel” Bailey is a new hire and Sarah Nicole Miller resigned; Katie Edwards with Smith Lake Park received a merit increase; Travis Kress with the soil and water department added to county payroll; Stephanie Chambers with the revenue department was terminated; Nina Winfrey and Rebecca Taylor with the Cullman Area Regional Transportation System are going from part-time to full-time; Kerry Schafer, Curtis Vinson, Zach Johnson and Craig Adamson with the county garage all received merit increases; Charles Dansby with CARTS was rehired; Randall Austin Black with the sheriff’s department is a new hire; and George Suggs and Wesley Waldrop with the road department received merit increases.
‰ The courthouse will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 28 and 29 for Thanksgiving and Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 24 and 25 for Christmas.
The county commission will hold a work session 8:30 a.m. Nov. 26 followed by its meeting at 10 a.m.
* Tiffeny Owens can be reached at by email at email@example.com or by phone at 256-734-2131, ex. 135.