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Chambers County approves budgets

LaFAYETTE — At their meeting Monday night, the Chambers County commission approved several revised budgets, among other things.

The Chambers County Drug Task Force is being provided with more equipment thanks to an increase in revenue from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. The ADECA provided grant money will allow the Drug task force to purchase more fuels and lubricants and pay for overtime. The amended budget brought the approved expenditures amount from $113,521 to $134,266, and increase of $20,744.

Due to a higher-than-expected county revenue from the Simplified Sellers Use Taxes, the commission voted to increase advertising expenditure line by $2,650, bringing it up to $6,000. This money will assist in covering advertising costs for the county jail renovation project — including the new electronic system — and Sunday alcohol sales.

For the Jail renovation project coming up, a budget of $6,200,600 was approved.

In other action, the commission declared two Chambers County Sheriff’s Office vehicles surplus in order for the departments to get rid of them. A 2009 Ford Crown Victoria will be decommissioned due to it being inoperable and a 2006 Chrysler 300 will be sold.

County Attorney Skip McCoy discussed his meetings with architects to handle the upcoming jail construction project and asked the commission to approve requests for qualification notices.

“We have gotten to the point where RFQs can be sent out to ensure we have the best contractors available for the project,” he said.

Notices will be posted on June 25, July 2, July 9 and July 16 with submissions being accepted no later than July 20, allowing the commission to review them and decide who the general contractor on the project will be.

The commission voted yes on the RFQ request unanimously.

Finally, the commission unanimously approved a letter of engagement with certified public accountants Jackson Thornton for their 2017 financial statement.

“The 2017 financial statement contract is consistent with 2015 and 2016,” McCoy said. “They have said that they will do financial statements for us for $15,000. In order to stay in line with what we are doing with our audits and stay ahead of the ball with our financial statements I think it would be prudent for the commission to consider engaging them to go ahead and initiate the 2017 statement now that they tax year has come to a conclusion.”

Debbie Wood abstained from the vote due to her daughter’s position with the company in Montgomery.