The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

February 3, 2014

County OK’s temp sites for courts, support offices

— The County Commission on Monday approved three sites near the Limestone County Courthouse to serve as the temporary location for the courts and operations of the 39th Judicial Circuit.

The circuit and district courts will inhabit the former Better Living building at 503 South Jefferson Street once renovations at the facility is complete.

The Circuit Court Clerk’ Office will relocate to the Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority’s customer service building at 520 South Jefferson Street.

The District Attorney’s Office will operate at the future home of its pretrial diversion program at 104 East Washington Street, next to Inez’s restaurant and across from the Clinton Street Courthouse Annex.

County Commission Chairman Stanley Menefee previously said once the court system has left its downtown quarters — the move is expected to take place within the next few weeks — the courthouse’s first three floors will be renovated for an estimated $3 million.

The interior overhaul could take 18 months to two years to complete, according to Martin & Cobey in Athens, the project’s general contractor.

Other business

The county authorized the following items during Monday’s meeting:

• agreement with the state for a $50,737 matching grant for a new kidney van, with $40,590 paid by the state and $10,147 by the county;

• contract with Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments, or TARCOG, to administer the Community Development Block Grant for the East Limestone Senior Center;

• a $5,645 base price bid for 20 drop locations to Black Box Network Services for network data and voice cabling for the temporary courthouse, with $216 allotted apiece for at least 16 more additional drop locations;

• rejection of a bid for a District 3 hydraulic mini-excavator because it was over budget;

• employment of Stephen Douglas Young as a sheriff’s deputy, pending a drug and alcohol screening;

• transfer of Charlie McMeans as herbicide operator for the Engineering Department;

• merit increases for Sonya Anthony and Dennis Wallace;

• variance request to install valley gutters along the streets, instead of standard curb and gutters, for 36 lots at The Breakers in District 2 on the west side of Newby Road;

• renewal of ad valorem tax millage at 7 mills for general property; 5.5 for schools,  3.5 for a public building; 3.0 for special school districts or hospital; and 1.5 for additional levy required by Amendment 778;

• suspension of rules of order to approve $15,611 in change orders for the temporary courthouse project, including a new handicap ramp for door 136, changing to powder coat finish, parking lot junction boxes; repairing parapet walls on the roof; and a conduit for AT&T fiber optic lines for the court system;

• approval of the county’s 10-year Solid Waste Management Plan, with no comments made during the resolutions public hearing.

The next commission work session is at 10 a.m. February 12 at the Washington Street courthouse annex.


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