The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 20, 2012

County Commission selects insurance provider, fills positions

By Kim West
kwest@athensnews-courier.com

— The Limestone County Commission voted to stay with its current insurance provider during its regular meeting Monday at the Clinton Street annex.

During the Nov. 14 work session, Aflac salesman Greg Fry requested that the commission restore Aflac as a payroll-deductible insurance provider. Fry, who gave no prior notice to the board before the meeting, is allowed to sell Aflac products on an individual basis to the approximately 250 workers employed by the county.

In a unanimous decision, the commission voted to maintain American Fidelity Assurance Company as the administrator of Section 125, Flex Spending and Health Care Reform requirements and voluntary benefit plans for the county, and to continue allowing payroll deductions for employees with active Aflac policies.

Vacant positions filled

The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office filled two of three vacant positions when the board voted to accept the employment of Martin Evans and Bill Daws as deputies pending routine drug and alcohol screenings. Daws served 10 years as District 4 commissioner from 2002 to 2012 and was previously employed by the Sheriff’s Office.

Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely said the lieutenant position left vacant by recently-elected Circuit Court Clerk Brad Curnutt has already been posted and closed, and interviews are slated in the coming weeks.

In other business the commission:

• Adopted a resolution providing for the county’s participation in the Severe Weather Preparedness Tax Holiday authorized by Act No. 2012-256. The holiday, which covers certain items purchased for severe weather preparedness, will be Feb. 22-24, 2013;

• Agreed to contract with Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood Inc. for limited architectural and engineering services for demolition of the remaining component of the old jail;

• Voted to re-appoint John Morris and appoint John Curtis to the Athens-Limestone Hospital board to five-year terms beginning Jan. 1, 2013;

• Awarded an oil bid to Campbell & Ward Petroleum, the overall lowest bidder;

• Accepted  family medical leave for Christie Partridge beginning Nov. 5. Partridge requested the leave to care for her son after he was seriously injured in a four-wheeler accident;

• Approved merit increases for Robert Terry Boyd Jr., Jeffery Cantrell, Jason Carter, Elizabeth Clark, Jennifer Easter, Steven S. Gatlin, Judith Harvey, Jacob Lamar, Theresa Martin, Joshua McLaughlin, Jacquelin McNatt, Carey Miles, Larry Delon Pierce, Pat Ryan, Jacob Rupp, Paula Thompson and Wendy Tucker-Brito;

• Approved the purchase of the Wheeler Street property to expand the jail. Limestone County Commission Chairman Stanley Menefee estimated the property to be between a half-acre and three-quarters of an acre.

Menefee announced the Christmas parade will be Thursday, Dec. 6. He said the tree-lighting ceremony will begin at 5:15 p.m. to allow more area workers the opportunity to attend.

District 3 Commissioner Bill Latimer said a local farmer is providing the Christmas tree at the Limestone County Courthouse at no charge.

“I’d like to thank David Nelson Farms for providing the Christmas tree,” Latimer said. “Next year we’re going to plant a (cedar) tree there, and I don’t think it will present any problems.”

The next commission meeting will be a 10 a.m. work session Nov. 28 at the Washington Street annex.