County Commission

Anticipated action by the Limestone County Commission to deed over the Limestone County Event Center to the Alabama Veterans Museum was delayed two more weeks Monday as a few items are still being ironed out.

County attorney Mark Maclin told commissioners the museum's board of directors requested an updated agreement to reflect the parking lot would belong to the museum and not be deemed public parking.

Following the meeting, board member Jerry Barksdale explained such an agreement would be important if there were an event being held downtown during museum hours and attendees decided to park at the museum. Because there are limited parking spaces, that could leave museum or event center patrons with no place to park.

Maclin told commissioners the updated agreement would not require changes to the deed. He explained the updated agreement would be similar to a license agreement whereby the county is granting the museum permission to use the parking lot.

“That language would have to be added to the (existing) agreement to specifically identify the parking lot,” he said.

In addition to the parking lot issue, Maclin told commissioners there were a “couple of loose ends” that still needed to be tied up. He said it's likely everything would be ready to be voted on at the Monday, Nov. 18 commission meeting.

One of those other loose ends involves insurance, Barksdale said. He told commissioners it would be “a matter of days” until the event center is fully insured.

Part of the event center will continue to be rented for events. The museum will use rent from the center to help defray museum costs.

Stop the music

Elsewhere Monday, District 3 Commissioner Jason Black said the county had received correspondence regarding the music streamed through the speakers on The Square in downtown Athens. He explained the speakers had been reprogrammed not to play music during church hours.

There are two churches located on or near The Square — the First Presbyterian Church at the corner of Jefferson and Washington streets and St. Timothy's Episcopal Church on Washington Street, just east of Clinton Street.

Black explained a funeral was recently held at one of the churches, and the sound of “Oh, Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison could be heard as the ceremony was ending. He said the deceased woman's family told him “she would have enjoyed it,” but he thought it was appropriate for the commission to silence the music on Sundays or during funeral services.

Black said the music can be controlled by the county's community relations coordinator, Michelle Williamson, via smartphone.

During his remarks, Chairman Collin Daly said he wanted to publicly apologize to the family for the music being played during the funeral.

Commissioners' reports

• District 1: Daryl Sammet said scheduled safety improvements are coming to Alabama 53, including rumble strips and stop signs with LED lights at intersections north of Harvest Road. He also said the speed limit would be lowered to 45 mph when raining. He thanked State Sens. Tom Butler, R-Madison, and Tim Melson, R-Florence, and State Rep. Andy Whitt, R-Harvest, for their assistance with the safety improvements;

• District 2: Steve Turner said paving projects are wrapping up in his district and his crews are also performing general maintenance;

• District 3: Black said he's gotten emails about the conditions of Segars Road, which is in Limestone County but also lies within the city limits of both Huntsville and Madison. County crews have been making repairs to the road, but Black said he would be investigating who is legally responsible for making needed repairs;

• District 4: Ben Harrison said he wanted to clarify his concern over safety at the intersection of Alabama 99 and Elk River Mills road predated his daughter's recent crash. He said he began asking for reports on the intersection several years ago and most recently in September when a vehicle struck a utility pole. He explained the Alabama Department of Transportation has authority over the intersection, including approaches from Elk River Mills and Fort Hampton roads.

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