Wayne Smith asks commission about roads

By ED HOWELL
Posted 4/3/19

The Walker County Commission heard Monday from a citizen who complained about potholes — and asked when the county was going to repair roads in the county.Wayne Smith of the Cordova area said …

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Wayne Smith asks commission about roads

Posted

The Walker County Commission heard Monday from a citizen who complained about potholes — and asked when the county was going to repair roads in the county.

Wayne Smith of the Cordova area said during the public comment section his vehicle had been damaged by a pothole. "It messed it up pretty good," he said. 

"Will the county commission be willing to pay for the repairs on individuals' vehicles that are damaged by the potholes on county roads within the county's jurisdiction?" he asked. "Will the county commission be willing to pay for the insurance deductible?" He also asked if the county would properly repair the potholes.

"If the county would properly repair the potholes on county roads, the county roads would not be in the poor condition that they are in now," he said. 

Noting "this is nothing against the sheriff at all," Smith said, "the commission found $900,000 to fix the jail. So when will you, the county commission, find money to fix the roads? Do you consider the inmates more important than the taxpayer citizens of this county? But the inmates in that jail is important to everyone of us, and the jail needed to be repaired. But I wonder how you found that $900,000 but you didn't find it when Jim Underwood was sheriff." 

Underwood was defeated for sheriff in last year's elections, leading to Nick Smith being elected to the post. Wayne Smith repeatedly posted as a supporter of Underwood on Facebook during last the elections. 

Chairman Jerry Bishop said, "Wayne, you could run for office and you would get to know all that. That's all I'm going to comment about today." 

During the commissioners comment section at the end of the meeting, District 2 Commissioner Jeff Burrough said his crews were working on roads using a DuraPatcher. He asked drivers if they see a sign showing crews are working to please slow down. "They are out there trying to make roads better," he said. 

In other action, the commission: 

•heard Revenue Commissioner Jerry Guthrie remind the commission that the first Monday in May — May 6 —  is his department's tax sale day and arrangements needed to be made to obtain the commission chambers. The commission also meets on that day. The commission did not make arrangements to move that day's meeting. 

The commission did announced that the next meeting on April 15 will be a 6 p.m. night meeting. 

•heard County Administrator Robbie Dickerson say she was meeting with department heads to talk about the switch to a new phone system. The first office to have the phones turned on will be the Probate Judge's Office, at a date to be announced later. 

•agreed to approve giving Good Hope Contracting in Cullman and Dunn Construction in Birmingham for the annual bids for bituminous plant mix, depending on the situations, as Good Hope did not bid on some items. 

•voted for the transfer of a hanger lease to Patrick Maddox, pending an insurance check. The terms of the lease remain the same. 

•heard District 1 Commissioner Keith Davis and County Engineer Mike Short say that Sanders Aviation is doing a large expansion of its facilities at the Walker County Airport-Bevill Field. Short said a new lease for Sanders should be ready by the next meeting, as Sanders will be doing new hanger construction. 

•heard commissioners say the April 27 county cleanup day scheduled throughout the county. "Citizens are picking up garbage right now," Burroughs said, noting Sheriff Nick Smith has also helped. A number of commissioners thanked Synovus for purchasing litter bags for the school children to take home with them to help reach the children with an anti-litter message. 

•heard Davis commend Smith. "It is evident, Nick, the job you are doing that we are reading on a daily basis," he said, saying the difference he has made in the past few months since taking over as sheriff is "tremendous." He said the commission stood ready to help Smith.   

Aderholt also said state Attorney General Steve Marshall had commended Smith for taking "swift action to close newly-established illegal electronic bingo halls" in the county. The comments were also directed in a release to  Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair. 

"That's outstanding," Aderholt said to Smith. "I really appreciate you staying true to form and upholding the rule of law in the State of Alabama, and also for fiscal management. Again, I can't tell you it is a relief for you to come in and ask us to help you get into the fleet program and use your own discretionary funds to do that. That is really proactive and shows you had the interests of the citizens at heart" by having the best possible vehicles for the officers and keeping the fleet operating." 

He went back to 2012 when he came into office to note that the district didn't have much in maintenance records, but that today they are much more detailed. "Sometimes it is not about more money. It's about managing what you have," Aderholt said.