Coffee County Commission approves FY2018 budget

Employees to get cost-of-living raise


Thursday, Sep 28,2017

The Coffee County Commission met Monday, Sept. 25, for its bimonthly meeting, and commissioners unanimously approved the county’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget.
County administrator Rod Morgan said the proposed budget for the Fiscal Year would be $21,640,385.08. He said this budget would include a 2 ½ percent COLA [Cost of Living Adjustment] raise for all employees.
Morgan also noted the cost of health insurance had increased, but employees would not see an increase in what they pay as the county would absorb those increases in the budget as well.
After Morgan made his presentation for the proposed budget, commissions moved swiftly to approve it.
Later in the meeting, Sheriff Dave Sutton thanked commissioners for their work on this budget, and he especially thanked them for the positive impact it would give his deputies and corrections officers at the county jail.
Commissioners approved two resolutions during the meeting that regard emergency situations in the future. It was noted the recent happenings from Hurricane Irma showed the importance of having these matters in place for the county.
The first resolution approved by commissioners gives the county administrator, in conjunction with the commission chairman and circuit judge, authority to close county buildings in case of an emergency.
The second resolution approved by commissioners gives the county administrator authority in a disaster situation to sign a temporary emergency declaration for the county to be confirmed by the county commission at its next meeting.
County engineer Randy Tindell had a couple of matters for commissioners to consider during Monday’s meeting.
Commissioners approved his request for a resolution for the chairman to enter into agreement with the department of transportation for funding for a bridge replacement project on County Road 215.
Commissioners also approved the requests from Tindell to award low bids for crushed stone and alternative daily cover for the landfill.
Commissioner Jim Thompson made a motion, that was approved by his peers, to establish a long-term rental rate for use of the farm center. Basically, this means if the center is rented for a week or longer the daily rate will drop from $200 per day to $100 per day.
Commission chairman Dean Smith also made a motion, that was approved, to allow the county’s highway department to assist the Town of New Brockton by doing the work needed on Medley Road.
Also during Monday’s meeting, Shelia Harris, director of the Enterprise Public Library, addressed commissioners.  She said she has been on the job for two months now, and she realizes the need is there for additional assistance from supporting agencies.
“We are thankful for what we get to serve our citizens, but we need more,” Harris said.
She said she was not asking for a particular dollar figure in extra funding, but she was asking for something more. She said she had also asked for additional funding from the City of Enterprise and would be getting that through the power bill being covered by the city.
Harris told commissioners she needs help with the Book Mobile. She said the gasoline for this mobile would be coming from her budget, and she needs more help to cover those costs to be able to reach further into the county.
Harris said she hopes to have the Book Mobile up and running by January.
She concluded by saying any additional help the commission could provide would be greatly appreciated.
The Coffee County Commission next meets on Monday, Oct. 9, at 9 a.m. in the community room of the county complex in New Brockton.

Photo: The Coffee County Commission recognized Larry Walker during its meeting Monday, Sept. 25. Walker is retiring as Coffee County EMA director after 14 years of dedicated service to the county. He began his stint Oct 1, 2003 as deputy director and became director of the office Feb. 1, 2011. Walker thanked everyone and said it had been an honor to serve the citizens of Coffee County. In the photo, commission chairman Dean Smith presents Walker with a proclamation of honor from the County for his faithful service to Coffee County citizens.