• 54°

Chambers County might change Sunday alcohol sales; Wood not seeking reelection

LaFAYETTE — The cities of Valley and Lanett have Sunday alcohol sales, and this may be allowed countywide if the Chambers County legislative delegation sponsors legislation calling for a vote on this.

The Chambers County Commission and the LaFayette City Council are on record to seek this. Both have approved resolutions calling for the state to set a local election date for city and county voters to decide this.

In its first session of the new year on Monday, the county commission approved a resolution asking local legislators to get this done.

They’re also asking local legislators to take action to improve local cable TV service. Specifically, they’re asking the state legislators to require the local cable providers to allow Chambers County viewers to receive Alabama-based public television and Channel 12 in Montgomery.

“It’s important for Chambers County residents to be informed on what’s going on in Alabama news, weather and sports,” said County Attorney Skip McCoy. “Other east Alabama counties have lost out on this, too. Any company that’s permitted a franchise network in Chambers County should already be doing this.”

Commissioner Joe Blanks, who lives in a rural area in the northern part of the county, said that his cable provider had cut out the stations that carried Fox Sports. Because of this he missed out on seeing the World Series and a number of NFL games this past year.

“We will look at that, Mr. Joe,” said McCoy.

Commission Chairman Charlie Williams said he could remember watching Public Television being broadcast from Mount Cheaha. That’s not in the local cable lineup now.

In other action in its first session of calendar year 2018, the commissioners approved a budget amendment to pay PH&J Architects $40,000 for professional services related to an addition to Chambers County jail, renewed an annual agreement with RDS to collect taxes for the county and approved a service agreement allowing East Alabama Occupational Medicine to provide drug testing for the Sheriffs Office, jail and landfill plus the county highway department.

Commissioner Debbie Wood announced at the meeting that she will not seek reelection this year, opting instead to seek the District 38 seat in the Alabama House of Representatives that’s being vacated by Isaac Whorton to run for circuit judge.

“My life changed in 2002,” she said. “The people in this room became my family.  I was elected to the county commission that year, representing District 6. I had no interest in going to Montgomery at that time. With Isaac leaving, we will need a voice there. Often, things change in Montgomery without us knowing about it.”

Wood continued, “I’m throwing my hat in the ring for the District 38 seat. I love this county I will never forget how important it is to make decisions on behalf of Chambers County residents. I am asking for your prayers, your vote and your support.”

Wood got a bit emotional when she talked about the people she’s worked with as a commissioner. “I have seen Josh (Harvill) grow up and become a fantastic engineer,” she said. “Skin and Regina, you have been of tremendous help to us,” she said, noting the work of the county attorney and County Manager Regina Chambers.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here,” she added. “Everyone in this room has made an impression on me. I will appreciate any help I can get from any of you.”

Wood received some loud applause from everyone in the commission meeting chamber. “She has always done a great job for everyone in Chambers County,” said Commission Chairman Charlie Williams.