Cullman County Commission Chairman Kenneth Walker

Cullman County Commission Chairman Kenneth Walker at an April 9 commission work session.

The long-disused building that formerly housed the Cullman County Health Department is finally passing from county ownership into private hands.

The old health department building, located at 304 4th Avenue NE, has remained empty since its most recent tenant, the Cullman County Board of Education, ended its lease agreement with Cullman County to use the building as storage space.

Citing the presence of asbestos and numerous cost-prohibitive structural problems that would be necessary to bring the building up to city codes, the commission already had slated the structure for demolition by a February 2018 resolution. But the work has been continually deferred by a shortage of man-hours on the part of road department staff, who would have carried out the task. The building was erected in 1950.

At its regular meeting, the Cullman County Commission approved the sale of the building to local architectural firm Leonard Design Architects. County attorney Chad Floyd advised the commission that the firm’s $137,500 cash offer for the corner property exceeds its estimated value based on a recent market appraisal, and the commission agreed to sell the property as-is, with the provision that the commission will be responsible for surveying and removing some infrastructural items before relinquishing it to the new owner.

In other business at its regular meeting, the commission:

  • Approved the vacation of a .05-acre portion of right of way along County Road 319, following up on a public hearing on the matter held in September.
  • Held a public hearing on the proposed vacation of a portion of County Road 597 / Nancy Street in the Gilleyville subdivision. After hearing from a number of residents whose property abuts or lies near the site, the commission closed the hearing and then voted unanimously to approve the vacation.
  • Approved a $360,930 contract bid for directional boring for a water line replacement project along County Road 222. The commission awarded the bid to low bidder Apel Machine & Supply Co., Inc. of Cullman.
  • Approved the purchase of six Kenworth dump trucks at $149,257 apiece for use by the road department. Under the split bid, Truck Works will supply the truck bodies, while Childersburg Truck Bed will supply the truck beds.
  • Approved an unbudgeted $65,000 appropriation for upgrades to the Cullman County Volunteer Fire Department training center at Vinemont.
  • Approved a $15,824 payment for a standalone audit by the State Department of Examiners of Public Accounts, a mandatory and routine annual procedure triggered by the county’s acceptance of more than $750,000 in federal awards in fiscal year 2018.
  • Approved an annual payment of $15,000 to the City of Hanceville for shared maintenance of watershed drainage at Mud Creek.
  • Approved the $6,341 purchase of additional security cameras for the courthouse exterior, which the county Information Technology department says will cover the remaining blind spots in the courthouse’s outdoor surveillance plan.
  • Approved the relocation of voting precinct 27 from the White City Community Center to Johnson Crossing Volunteer Fire Department Station No. 1. The White City Community Center was damaged beyond full repair by a storm in March of this year.
  • Approved the adjustment of pet adoption fees at the Cullman County Animal Shelter, raising the cost of adopting a dog or cat to a flat $100. The fee will cover veterinarian costs for initial vaccinations, as well as spaying and neutering.
  • Accepted the voluntary termination of the contract of county engineer John Lang, who has accepted a new position in Huntsville.
  • Approved the $7,800 purchase of a 4-ton split heat pump from Hawkins Heating and Air for the sanitation department.
  • Approved Barry Slatton as an appointee from chairman Walker to the Cullman County E-911 Board for a four-year term expiring Sept. 1, 2023.
  • Approved Keith Creel as an appointee of commissioner Kerry Watson to the E-911 Board to fill the unexpired term of J.L. Parker, expiring on Sept. 1, 2021.
  • Approved the surplus of a 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe, a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze, and a 2005 Cavalier mobile home to be sold at govdeals.com.
  • Extended current road department supply bids for traffic signs to Traffic Signs, Inc. and to J.C. Cheek Contractors Inc. for traffic striping.
  • Approved plat proposals for Radford Place II subdivision located along County Roads 1269 and 1251; and for the Smith Lake RV and Cabin Resort addition to Phase II, located on County Road 2030.
  • The next regular commission meeting will be held Dec. 10 at 10 a.m. in the commission meeting room at the Cullman County Courthouse. An 8:30 a.m. public work session in the commission conference room will precede the meeting.
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