Macon County Chronicle

Safety Issues Discussed Concerning Lafayette Little League Ball Fields

Billy Bransford conducted the meeting of the  Committee of the Whole on Monday Night March 2nd while Mayor Linville was away learning more about economic stimulus money that might be available to communities.  

Bransford set the tone for the meeting by reminding commissioners of the responsibilities and mounting costs expected to come from county funds in next years budget such as schools, landfills, and with revenues sources such as impact fees down.

Money for bridge work and road repairs is available according to a report Road Supervisor Audie Cook presented to the committee.  Cook indicated that money has been accruing in an unspent fund for several years that can provide state-aid for road and bridge funds.  

State-Aid in the amount of $665,740 is available for roads with a county match of 25% totaling $221,913 making a total of $887,653 available for road projects.

State-Aid in the amount of $427,157 is available for bridge projects with a 20% county match of $106,789, making a total of $533,946 available for bridge projects.

“If we are not going to use it, the state can come in and put it somewhere it can be used.” said Cook.

The poor condition of Oakdale Road was discussed before the committee voted to send the proposal on to the full legislative body.

Chris Boone and Dewayne Sloan reported on the condition of the electrical lighting systems of the Little League ballparks.  Sloan provided Tri-County Electric estimated costs to repair and replace equipment, bringing the park to safety, at $154,000. He also provided various options of purchases.  Boone stated in an earlier meeting that the lights were unsafe and reinforced that fact at the meeting, saying, “A lot of tragedy is there waiting to happen.”

 “I’ll back him up on what he’s saying,” said Mike Rogers, who dealt with same issues at the park.  “They’re not exaggerating,” said Commissioner Tony Boles.  After a motion was made to bring this back to the 2009/2010 budget, Commissioner Looper asked to amend the motion, saying, “I’m not going to be responsible for a kid getting killed.”

Sloan told the committee that Tri-County could not get the lights ordered and installed in time for this years ball season.”
“If the lights are that bad, we don’t need to be cutting them on,” said Commissioner East.

 A zoning amendment was presented to the committee that has measures for setbacks and regulations for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.

A public hearing is scheduled for March 16 at 6 p.m. to discuss the matter further.  This will be followed by the meeting of the Legislative Body, who will return to a 7 P.M. meeting time, due to the change to daylight saving time schedule.

Once again the subject of conducting an actuarial study to determine the county’s liability associated with increasing the amount of prior service time any members or retired member can buy back came up.   Larry West attended and told commissioners, “I don’t know why you want to decide if I can buy my retirement back.”

After discussion the committee voted to pass the resolution to do the study on to the full body.

Recommendations were made for new committee appointments to replace Melburn Cothron.  Motions passed sending the following recommendations on to the legislative body:

Special Ambulance Committee  - Benton Bartley

Fair Board – Jerry Ray

Highway Committee – Vernon Biggs

Wheel Tax Committee – Jerry Ray  

Budget Committee  - Jeff Hughes

Salary Study Committee – Mike East

Nineteen signatures were presented to the commissioners requesting the Phillips Hollow speed limit be set at 35 miles per hour.  The committee approved the measure be sent on to the full body.

In other business:

Budget amendments were approved for:

•    Insurance expenditures and recovery money in the amount of  $8811.42  for damages at the Election Commission Building and the Galen Museum.

•    Donation of $1,000 from Nestle Waters North America, Inc. for 3-Star to use for Hotel signage.

•    $4,300 for purchase of 2004 Chevrolet Blazer 4x4 from fund balance for Property Assessor for Reappraisal Program

•    Budget Amendments for $29,796.81 for tornado invoices from Davidson and Wilson Counties EMA departments.  

•    Reimbursement from State Grant for Welcome Center totaling $85,389.86.