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Chambers approves millage 2018 rates

LaFAYETTE — At the Monday meeting, the Chambers County Commission approved the millage rates for 2018.

They are identical to last year’s rates: 9.2 mills for the general fund, 7.1 mills for the road and bridge fund, 9.6 mills for countywide schools, 4.1 mills for the special school district fund, 2.0 mills for the library tax, and 4.0 mills for the hospital tax. There’s a forest tax of ten cents per acre.

Under state law, the county governing body must approve these rates so the tax commissioner can complete the assessment process.

In other business on Monday, the commissioners approved a request made by the Sheriff’s Office to purchase five new police vehicles, requests made by the Highway Department to purchase two 15-foot right of way mowers and to award a traffic striping bid and a request made by County Attorney Skip McCoy to approve a resolution for Chambers County to join with other Alabama counties in a legal action against pharmaceutical companies due to the opioid crisis. If the suit is successful, each county that has joined in will get a percentage of the recovery fees to help offset the cost of incarceration that has been brought on by the abuse of prescription medication.

Chief Deputy Richard Carter talked to the commissioners about the vehicle purchases. The five new police vehicles will be purchased from the state bid list for approximately $185,000. The total amount, said Carter, is actually around $400 per vehicle less than what was expected last fall. He added that the Sheriff’s Office will likely save around $20,000 by going the state bid list route.

County Engineer Josh Harvill discussed the purchase of the new mowers and awarding the striping bid. The right of way mowers will be purchased from the Alabama Association of County Commissions’ joint bid. They will cost $12,971.93 each, which is about $4,000 more per mower than what they cost five years ago. The striping bid will go to the Hornsby Striping Co., the only company to make an offer.

Harvill said that the cost will be somewhere between $75,000 and $100,000.

The commission also unanimously approved a resolution to name the bridge over Moore’s Creek in the West Shawmut community in honor of Alfred Lyons. The resolution saluted Lyons for his long-time advocacy of better infrastructure for West Shawmut. He urged the county commission to see to see that “funding for a bridge on Magnolia Road was a high priority.”

Those efforts, reads the resolution, “resulted in a new bridge being built.”

“The Chambers County Commission recognizes and appreciates the devotion, persistence, and efforts Alfred Lyons displayed in seeking construction of the bridge in West Shawmut on Magnolia Road,” the resolution reads. “Now therefore, be it resolved that (this bridge) be dedicated in honor of Alfred Lyons and that a permanent sign be placed at said bridge as a result of his outstanding contribution and achievement.”