Commission closes section of road

By ED HOWELL, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 6/12/18

The Walker County Commission voted Monday to close a section of Pleasantfield Road pending final title searches and other last-minute detailed work.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

Commission closes section of road

Posted

The Walker County Commission voted Monday to close a section of Pleasantfield Road pending final title searches and other last-minute detailed work. 

According to a signed request to District 3 Commissioner Ralph Williams by all landowners who adjoin the section being closed, the road will be closed starting at Highway 69 to the west entrance of Gilchrist Cemetery. No easements or access is blocked and there are no utilities along the section. 

“This section of roadway is in a state of disrepair and has not had any work performed on it in approximately 10 years,” the residents said. 

Walker County Commission Chairman Jerry Bishop said the road is in bad shape. Residents also said the public usage has lead in that section to acts of  illegal trash dumping, dumping dead animal carcasses and abandonment or burning of stolen vehicles. 

In other action Monday, the commission: 

•heard county attorney Eddie Jackson make a request to deal with correct a lease made in 1984 by the county to Beacon House. In a May 16 letter to the commission, Jackson said the lease noted if Beacon House, Inc., ceased to exist or the facility on the property ceased to be used for juveniles, the property would go back to the county. Jackson said using “or” created confusion.

“I understand Beacon House, Inc., no longer exists, therefore the property may have reverted back to the county,” Jackson wrote. “Beacon House is operating now under the name of Concerned Citizens for our Youth, Inc. This is a corporation organized by Judge (James) Brotherton to handle money for Beacon House.” 

Jackson suggested the county make a proper deed to Concerned Citizens for our Youth, Inc. He said Monday the county has a chance to clear up the language “before it gets out of control,” noting problems seen in the past with airport lease language. He said under the new lease, if it ceases to be used for the facility, it would come back to the county. 

•heard the county constables association had made made a pre-application to use the old airport for a community bizarre to benefit the association. “They have insurance. Their vendors don’t,” Jackson said, who suggested the use could be used for a first-time event on the contingent that the proper insurance is obtained by the vendors. 

Robbie Dickerson, the acting county administrator, said it would not be like food vendors, but groups that have yard sales and such events. Jackson said in that case, they won’t have insurance. “That’s a little different,” he said.

However, Dickerson then added that the June 23 event would also have bouncy children’s inflatables, which raised the liability issue again.

Jackson noted the constables missed the deadline of turning in an application one-month before the event. The application was turned in June 6. The commission, indicating they were grateful for the work constables do in the county, eventually agreed to approve the event contingent that the proper insurance is verified to cover the vendors and the children’s bouncy houses. They also agreed that the commission would waive the one-month notice and allow the constables to use as much of property as needed. 

•held an executive session on a pending legal matter, thought to be the county’s suit against the Examiners of Public Accounts involving sales taxes going to the local schools, as Jackson noted he was not involved with the suit.

Auditors found the commission owes the Walker County Board of Education $800,000, and the county sued to determine if it owed funds.

Officials at Monday’s meeting said “Ben” was eventually coming to participate in the executive session with the commission, an apparent reference to Bentley Owens III of Ellis, Head, Owens and Justice in Columbiana, who is representing the county in that matter.

A Montgomery circuit judge recently ruled in favor of the schools receiving tax funds, with a hearing set on June 28 at 4:30 p.m. in Montgomery to determine proper relief. Officials have discussed the possibility of mediation at this point between the two sides.

The commission eventually decided in advance to immediately adjourn the meeting once the executive session ended without taking any vote. The commission will hold another regular meeting on Monday, June 18, as Monday’s meeting was delayed a week.