The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

July 2, 2013

County Commission: Harrison appointed to library board

By Kim West

— The County Commission re-established a direct link to the Athens-Limestone Public Library by appointing District 4 Commissioner Ben Harrison to join the library board during Monday’s commission meeting.

“The library hasn’t had a liaison on the County Commission in a while, and they wanted to appoint a commissioner,” Harrison said. “I was kind of surprised they chose me because I had questioned the wisdom of going to the Kroger building (for the new library).”

Harrison said he questioned using the former grocery building but did not oppose the 38,427-square foot new library, which is under construction and scheduled for completion by June 2014.

He said the new library is being built with a “pay-as-you-go” philosophy that he endorses because library officials have “held back to do work until they’ve had the funds to do what they wanted to do.” The commissioner said he wants library services to match public demand, and to ensure that any additional appropriations to the library budget are necessary.

“I just want to think carefully about (library) operating costs because the county is not flush with money,” Harrison said. “My daughter is a page at the library, and I believe the library serves a good function … I’m perfectly happy to help out the library in any prudent way I can, and to help them achieve their goals of building a new library and increasing services for county residents.”

The ALPL has two boards, the Library Foundation Board and the Board of Trustees. Harrison was appointed to the foundation board, which raises money for the library and will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 18.

Other business

Also Monday, the commission approved merit increases, effective in July, for seasonal grounds keeper James Hargrave and equipment operators Frank Sandefer, William Russell and Justin Romine, and family medical leave for Tim McNeil from June 26 to July 7.

Subdivision requests for District 2 were accepted to make a minor lot adjustment to Kingston Place on the east side of Queensbury Drive, and to add 30 lots to Legacy Grove on the north side of Newby Road.

The speed limit on Cave Branch Road west of Veto Road in District 1 was changed to 30 miles per hour, while the limit in the District 2 residential area of Southern Heritage Lane is now 25 mph.

The commission also authorized the sale of a gold 1999 Ford Crown Victoria on the website, and the closure of county offices Friday, July 5.

The commission will hold a work session at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 10, at the Washington Street courthouse annex.