The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

October 8, 2013

County reels in $545K in five grants

By Kim West
kwest@athensnews-courier.com

— The county has reeled in $545,595 in grants to defray expenses for bulletproof vests, aerial photos, senior center enhancements, a fire sprinkler system and a juvenile probation program.

During Monday’s regular meeting, the County Commission approved four grants totaling $534,595. The commissioners accepted an $11,000 digital information grant during Wednesday’s work session, with the county committing $2,200 for aerial photography through the Alabama Department of Transportation.

The county’s contribution for the five grants is $103,993, with other agencies providing $441,602 in matching funds.

The largest grant is through ALDOT’s Transportation Alternatives Program. The $470,012 TAP grant will help restore the Limestone County Archives in the former Louisville and Nashville Railroad depot at 102 W. Washington Street.

The county’s match is $94,002, or 20 percent, while ALDOT is contributing the remaining 80 percent, or $376,010. The 108-year-old building will receive a fire alarm system, a fire sprinkler dry system, new siding, fresh paint and a handicap-accessible ramp.

Goodsprings Senior Center will receive interior and exterior enhancements through a $4,000 grant from Alabama’s Mountains, Rivers & Valleys Resource Conservation & Development Councils.

The county secured a one-year agreement for a $45,000 agency grant from the state Department of Youth Services to provide funding for juvenile probation and outpatient programs through DYS.

The Sheriff’s Office is preparing to bid a Department of Justice matching grant of $15,583 for bulletproof vests, which must be bid out since the amount exceeds $15,000.

The county’s portion of the grant is $7,791, and Chief Deputy Randy King said this could purchase 22 to 23 vests. The county’s expense would be roughly $338 per vest if 23 could be bought following the bid process.

Public hearings

Two public hearings are on tap for the commission’s Oct. 21 meeting.

The commission will discuss the development of Carpenter industrial Park and a governmental services agreement with Carpenter Technology Corporation. CTC is constructing a $518 million specialty alloys plant on a 500,000-square foot site on Thomas L. Hammonds Road in Tanner.

The second hearing will be held to consider vacating a portion of Holland Drive, which is known as Holland Heights, west of Grady Street as platted in the Holland Heights Estates subdivision.

Personnel items

The commission approved hiring Leah Moran as a communications officer for the Sheriff’s Office, pending drug and alcohol screenings. Sheriff’s deputies Nicholas Daniel, Emily Lewter, John McCormick and Jason Shawley and corrections officers Gary Lovell,  Mary Tucker, Julian Tyler and Normal Underwood received merit increases.

The commission accepted a family medical leave request from Tim McNeill from Sept. 20 to Oct. 21, and merit increases for county employees Sabrina Bates, Billy Boldin, Eddie Gilbert, Deborah Holt, Angela Maples, Jennifer McBay and Bryan Robinson.

The commission will hold a work session at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Washington Street annex.