E-911 tower case

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 27, 2006

Last brief to be filed this week

By Deborah Goodwin

The Selma Times-Journal

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The County Commission resumed its regularly scheduled meeting following the Thanksgiving holiday with all commissioners present.

The E-911 tower case was once again a topic of discussion.

An appellant brief has been prepared and is ready to be filed in the case.

“This is the last brief the county will file in this matter,” said County Attorney John Kelly III.

Kelly said his contributions to the preparation of the brief were minimal and gave kudos to those responsible for its preparation.

“It is an excellent brief. This is very well done.”

According to Kelly, the City of Selma has

the opportunity to file one more brief, which will be the end of this week.

“After that we’ll turn it over Alabama Supreme Court to decide. “There’s nothing further for Dallas County to do,” Kelly said.

According to Kelly, the League of Municipalities plans to intervene in the case on behalf of the Association of County Commissioners

and all county commissions in the state.

The lawsuit was filed against the county in May by the City of Selma. Because the tower is within the city limits, the city argued the county did not follow proper protocol

and city ordinances were violated.

The 120-foot, $75,000 E-911 tower, which was constructed to allow emergency responders within the county to communicate via radio frequencies, will not be used until the case is settled by the Alabama Supreme Court.

Plans for the Dallas County Detention Center are progressing. Invoices presented by Financial Director Nancy Wilson were approved for payment to McKee and Associates for architectural services rendered for the new detention center to be located on the west side of the Dallas County Jail on Highway 14 East.

The Hale County Detention Center is currently the primary facility used by Dallas County to house juvenile delinquents.

The decision for Dallas County to have its own detention center was primarily based on the huge detention invoices.

The county is currently spending over $250,000 per year in detention fees – $30,000 this past June alone.

“We’ll do a better job with our children and have a better success rate and give our children a better future,” District Judge Bob Armstrong said in a July interview.

The soil testing has been done and the architectural plans for the facility will now allow the county to move forward.

“It’s looking like the projected cost on it is around the $1 million figure,” Commissioner Kim Ballard said.

“By using county labor and inmate labor and different things to do the demolition we can bring it in, they think,

for somewhere less.”

The invoices were approved and now the construction jobs can be put out for bid.

Cartledge and Virginia Blackwell approached the commission with a petition on behalf of Michael and Denise Camferdan. The couple is asking that deserted roads running adjacent to their property be declared non-public.

The commission accepted the petition, but did not make a statement of declaration in the case as notifications have to published in the newspaper and other legal procedures have to be followed.

“We’ll accept the petition so you can begin the process,” Judge Johnny Jones said.

The commission approved a resolution to be supplied to County Engineer George

E. Jones in an upcoming hearing he must attend in a similar land case.

On Oct. 9, the Commission issued a formal opinion that Dallas County Road 824 was no longer a private road which did not sit well with land owner Susan Smith who claims that road is used by the public and is the only access to her property.

On Oct. 16, Smith

filed a Form of Complaint against Engineer Jones claiming that it is because of Jones’ “fraudulent behavior” that led to a “private” Circuit Court ruling in a 1998 lawsuit concerning the road’s status.

In other business, the commission voted in favor of an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) used by the Sportsplex be declared as scrap and be auctioned off to the local public.

A bid from Blue Ox Equipment for $8,215 was accepted for a new ATV, but rest assured the ATV is not being purchased for recreational purposes.

“It’s used on the baseball and softball field to haul fertilizer, chemicals and sand stuff like that, so it’s a work horse,” Commissioner Roy Moore said.

In other business:

Tax abatements were approved for New Gas Concepts and another business that will be announced at a late date.

Budget amendments for October were approved.

Invoices for CDBG Wagon Wheel Extension Projects CY-SF-PF-05-01 and CDBG County Road Paving Project CY-CM-PF-05-006 were approved.

The October invoice for County Attorney John Kelly III in excess of his retainer was approved.

A complaint and legal fees for Jim Minor Garden Homes were deferred until the next commission meeting.

The Tack Coat asphalt contractor bid for $14,000 per year was approved.

Diesel fuel bid by Jones Oil company for $1.97 per gallon for 8,000 gallons was approved.

Engineer Jones brought an item before the commission that did not require immediate action. “A federal aid allotment is available for road resurfacing, widening. It’s approximately a $600,000 project we have to put up a 20 percent match.”

Plans to

order dump trucks from low bidder, Gulf Coast was approved.

A $695.54 estimate from Nancy Davis of Wilcox County claiming a rock from a Dallas County broke her windshield was addressed and will be reviewed further by the commission.