Commissioners talk New Year’s plans

Published 9:32 am Wednesday, December 27, 2023

With Christmas over, Chambers County commissioners have plans underway for the new year starting with renovations to the historic courthouse at the county’s seat. 

Chambers County Commissioner Chairman James Williams said the renovation is the biggest project of the new year so far. They plan to begin sending out bids for the project soon. 

The renovation will include roofing work, window and door replacements and new HVAC units, according to District 4 Commissioner Sam Bradford. He said the project is expected to be worth about $3 million. 

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Williams said the county jail will also be getting renovations in the new year. 

Another ongoing project that will continue into 2024 is resurfacing the county roads. The project had a setback in March of this year when a storm caused flooding that washed out several roads in the county. 

Williams said the Highway Department will continue resurfacing roads after the holidays. 

“There’s a lot going on going into 2024,” Williams said. “… A lot of it you won’t be able to see because it’s behind the scenes but it’s something that we realize it’s got to be good to keep the courthouse intact.”

Many of the other projects the county commission will focus on in 2024 are continued projects from 2023 and earlier. Bradford said the commission will continue to support Chambers County Community Health and Wellness Center and the partnership with the Auburn University Rural Health Project as a resource.

The commission is also continuing its litter pickup program starting on Jan. 2. The litter initiative incentivizes organizations and schools to clean up litter along a mile of county roads for $250. Bradford said the county also looks forward to its continued partnership with Alabama PALS (People Against a Littered State). 

Williams said one of his long-term goals is to make a plan of action for getting city water to the residents of the rural parts of the county. Though he said it will not be likely to take place in 2024, the project is important to him.

Williams said he estimated that over half of the rural population of Chambers County runs on well water rather than city water. However, he said the county commission’s focus is on projects that the county can afford at this time.

“I know there’s grants and all out there but it takes money to get them grants going, and that’s just something we don’t have at this time … One thing that we strive to is not waste the taxpayer money,” Williams said.