Dallas County BOE agrees to work with Alabama Power

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, July 6, 2022

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The Dallas County Board of Education’s Thursday meeting featured several presentations – one from an Alabama Power employee and another from a former school system employee.

Jason McDade, of Alabama Power, informed the board of an easement-related issue at Keith High School that occurred sometime in 2000 when the school built its gymnasium.

McDade said Alabama Power moved a transmission line that was in the path of where the gymnasium would be constructed, but a new easement wasn’t granted.

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“What should have happened there is the existing easement, which is still in place today, should have been quit claimed,” he said. “APC should have quit claimed those rights after the board of education put in a new easement. A new easement should have been executed for the existing transmission line to wherever it was relocated to.”

He said he discovered this discrepancy during a research project a month and a half ago.

McDade said there was no survey data on record and he could not locate the new easement, so APC offered to help correct the matter.

“What we would like to do is just execute an easement for (where) that transmission line sits today, mimicking the same rights that was on that old easement and quit claim that old easement back to the board of education so APC has no rights,” he said. “In our world, it’s just what we call we’re trying to clean up a clouded title.”

McDade said by correcting the issue, it would ensure the board of education had no problems with the title if they ever decided to sell that piece of real estate.

“We’ve already done the survey,” he said. “There will be no cost to the board of education.”

Board attorney Malika Sanders-Fortier said she would work with McDade and APC to ensure the matter is resolved.

Former board employee Jacinta Bright expressed her concerns regarding a discrepancy in pay and unpaid wages from her time with the system.

After eight minutes of presenting her issue to the board, she mentioned she had already hired an attorney, who had attempted to contact the board about the matter, but she had received no response.

Sanders-Fortier cautioned the board against responding to the matter in the meeting since Bright’s attorney was now involved in the process.

“Once somebody has an attorney, it is not appropriate for the board to interact with that person,” Sanders-Fortier said. “We have to interact with their attorney … I also want to say there has been interaction with her attorney, and I’m happy to follow-up to make sure or see what happened with the final letter that was given. There were a couple of different interactions, so I’m happy to contact her attorney to see what the situation is and why Bright has not been informed of the board’s position on this.”

In other business, the board:

• Voted to approve the consent agenda

• Approved consent agenda unanimously

• Unanimously approved monthly financial statements and bank reconciliation for the month of May

• Heard a request from Sanders-Fortier for board members to answer a questionnaire to be entered as part of the discovery phase of an ongoing legal matter with Southern Roofing. The board agreed to a deadline of July 21 to complete the questionnaire.

• Appointed Leroy Miles as the board’s nomination for the All-State School Board

• Announced the board’s next meeting will be held July 28 at 5:30 p.m. The location for the meeting will be announced at a later date.