District 4 Commissioner Ben Harrison could barely contain his excitement Tuesday while talking about the county's new piece of road equipment.
A new road milling machine approved by the county last month was delivered last Thursday and crews began using it Friday on Lentzville Road. He said the machine is already making a big impact in his district.
“It works fantastic,” he said. “We have the potential to go eight to 10 times faster on milling out bad spots on plant-mix roads.”
He added it's “incredibly expensive” to resurface a plant-mix road or get it in shape to be preserved with a lower-cost surface.
“(The machine) is one of the best purchases. I want to thank my fellow commissioners (for approving it),” he said. “It's expensive, but we will pay for it within a year and a half with savings as opposed to (repairing roads) the way we were. It's a fantastic moment in time for roads in Limestone County.”
At its Aug. 5 meeting, the commission approved obtaining financing from First National Bank to purchase the machine, a Caterpillar PM312. The cost was $396,430, which will be made in annual payments with a five-year fixed rate of 2.23%.
Elsewhere Tuesday, Athens Main Street Director Tere Richardson presented Commission Chairman Collin Daly with an Excellence in Public-Private Partnerships Award from Main Street Alabama. Richardson collected the award at Main Street Alabama's annual awards ceremony Aug. 23 in Decatur.
The award recognized Athens Main Street's partnership with the County Commission, which is the largest landowner in downtown Athens. The county owns the Limestone County Courthouse, County Commission office on Washington Street, farmers market on Green Street and other properties.
In other business, the commission:
• Approved a Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments (TARCOG) SenioRx program contract for fiscal year 2020 in the amount of $20,848;
• Approved a TARCOG Area Agency on Aging contract for fiscal year 2020 in the amount of $129,530;
• Approved a grant agreement with the Alabama Department of Youth Services for the juvenile diversion program for fiscal year 2020 in the amount of $47,840. No match is required;
• Approved an agreement for services with Katye Hanson beginning Oct. 1 and ending Sept. 30, 2020, to coordinate community services for juveniles assigned through Limestone County Juvenile Court. The program is funded by an Alabama Department of Youth Services grant for 30 hours per week at $16.15 per hour;
• Approved a memorandum of understanding with the Family Life Center Inc. to provide substance abuse treatment and related services for juveniles referred by the Limestone County Juvenile Court beginning Oct. 1 and ending Sept. 30, 2020. The program receives $1,250 per month from a Alabama Department of Youth Services grant;
• Approved an agreement with Tracking Solutions for electronic monitoring services (ankle monitoring) for juveniles referred by the Limestone County Juvenile Court beginning Oct. 1 and ending Sept. 30, 2020. The program is funded by an Alabama Department of Youth Services grant;
• Renewed a one-year agreement with Southern Health Partners Health Services for inmate medical care at a monthly cost of $50,746.53;
• Awarded a bid in the amount of $139 to Gall Inc. for deputy uniforms;
• Awarded a bid in the amount of $350 to Currie Systems for printing business cards;
• Awarded a bid in the amount of $1,767 to Printers & Stationers Inc. for speciality envelopes with window for the license commission;
• Awarded a bid in the amount of $93.15 to Currie Systems for kraft envelopes for the license commission;
• Awarded a bid in the amount of $382 to Printers & Stationers Inc. for security envelopes with window for the license commission;
• Awarded a bid in the amount of $310 to Printers & Stationers Inc. for ivory classic linen envelopes for the license commission;
• Approved a request by Coroner Mike West to move David Malone to assistant coroner and Jenny Jacobson to deputy coroner;
• Hired Asa Hawkins as groundskeeper/campground attendant for parks and recreation, pending a drug screening;
• Hired Richard Franks as a corrections officer, pending a drug screening;
• Revised a job description as van driver at Limestone County Council on Aging to remove the CDL requirement;
• Gave preliminary and final approval for the Broadway-Huntsville-Browns Ferry Road subdivision, a two-lot minor subdivision on Huntsville-Browns Ferry Road just east of the intersection with Brownferry Road in District 3;
• Gave preliminary and final approval to Maurice Cannon Estate subdivision, a replat of Tract 1 approximately 500 feet north of Airport Road on the west side of Alabama 127 in District 4;
• Gave preliminary and final approval to Sterling Road subdivision, a five-lot minor subdivision at the intersection of Reyer and Sterling roads in District 1;
• Gave preliminary and final approval to Ezell Williams subdivision, a two-lot minor subdivision on Fort Hampton Road, approximately 1 mile west of Easter Ferry Road in District 4;
• Gave Administrator Pam Ball the authority to approve departmental budget revisions as necessary for the end of the year procedures;
• Approved Caleb King's expense report from June 2019 for prisoner transport in the amount of $76.78;
• Announced two public hearings would be held at the commission's Sept. 16 meeting. The first concerns vacating a portion of Hampton Lane in District 3, while the second concerns vacating a portion of Buzzard Roost Road in District 4.
The commission will meet again for a work session at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, at the Washington Street annex.