By Adam Smith
Efforts to protect Limestone County’s history took a step forward Monday following a public hearing at the County Commission meeting.
The hearing, which featured no citizen input or comments, is just one of the required steps to secure a grant from the ALDOT Transportation Alternatives Program. The Limestone County Archives is seeking $311,610 in funding to make numerous improvements to the archives building, located at 102 W. Washington St.
The total cost of the project is $389,512, though a local match of 20 percent, or $77,902, would be put toward the renovations. If the funds are received, they will be used to make a number of improvements to the 108-year-old building, which was once the old Athens train depot.
At least $250,000 would be used for building repairs and renovations, including the replacement of exterior siding, interior and exterior painting and the installation of a ramp to make the building handicapped accessible.
About $75,000 would be used toward the cost and installation of a fire sprinkler dry system, which does not flood the overhead pipes unless a fire is detected. Nearly $12,000 would be allocated for impact/tap fees to Athens Utilities and the installation of a fire alarm system.
The current budget for maintenance and renovation of the building is only $3,200, Davis said last year. The cost to replace the building, should fire destroy it, is $368,000, not including the contents, she said.
This is the second time the county has tried to obtain a grant for a sprinkler and alarm system for the archives. Commissioners applied for a $65,000 grant last fall from the Alabama Historical Commission but did not receive a grant.
She said the county likely won’t know until September if the grant funds will be received.
Elsewhere, the commission approved a matching-funds agreement with ALDOT to repave Mooresville Road from Thach Road to Sweet Springs Road. The total cost of the project is expected to be $791,585.75, with the county’s portion being $158,317.15.
Also, Commission Chairman Stanley Menefee said more patrons appear to be using the Farmers Market, and added the commission may want to consider adding a third day of operations.
Other commission biz
In other business, the commission:
• Promoted Elizabeth Clark to recording clerk II in the probate office;
• Employed Rodney McAbee as a sheriff’s deputy and John Wayne Moore as a corrections officer, pending drug and alcohol screenings;
• Approved merit increases for Whitney Aldridge, Justin Fields, Tony Graviet, Matthew Hayes, Ellen Hays-Whiteaker, Jeffrey Kilpatrick, Glenda Malone, Amanda Morgan, Susan Ray and Tammy Waddell; and
• Approved the insolvencies, errors and taxes in litigation for 2012 and uncollected insolvents and taxes in litigation for previous year as presented by the revenue commissioner’s office;
The commission will hold a work session at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 26, at the Washington Street annex.