County commission OKs Smith Lake Park boat ramp expansion, turn lane on AL 69


Jolanda Hutson, of the Good Samaritan Health Clinic, addresses the Cullman County Commission on Tuesday, Aug. 8. / Andrew Cryer

CULLMAN – Jolanda Hutson of the Good Samaritan Health Clinic led off this week’s meeting of the Cullman County Commission, which saw a packed house and agenda.

Hutson addressed the commission, expressing her grave concerns over a grant shortfall at the clinic. Hutson has been making the rounds, speaking to all municipal councils to request funding for the clinic, which serves low-income, uninsured residents of Cullman County.

Said Hutson, “You all have funded us in the past, and we’re very grateful for that. I know the deadline is approaching for this year’s request. I’d be very grateful if you could increase the amount allotted to the Good Samaritan Clinic.”

Switching to commission business, Chairman Kenneth Walker was authorized to sign an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation for the construction of a left turn lane on Alabama Highway 69 at the intersection with County Road 1545.

The commission authorized the signing of a lease, construction and maintenance agreement with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for a project which will see the conversion of the two-lane boat ramp at Smith Lake Park to a six-lane boat ramp. The construction is slated to take place over two fiscal years.

Four items on the agenda involved the Cullman Regional Airport. Two of the items concern the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Walker and the County Attorney Chad Floyd were authorized to sign a grant agreement with the FAA for reconstruction of the north parallel taxiway at the airport, and a resolution was approved to enter the agreement. A bid was awarded on the project to Wiregrass Construction for $512,685.41. Lastly, a resolution was passed to apply for state and federal matching funds on the project. The project will receive 90 percent of the needed funds from the federal government, five percent from the state and five percent locally, divided evenly between the city and the county.

The commission also:

-approved the request for the Tubbs Family Cemetery to be placed at 214 County Road 478. The commission received the request in July; however, commissioners decided to propone the vote until a tax issue was settled and a sanitation evaluation was completed.

-approved a request from Kathy Wilson of the Cullman County Human Trafficking Task Force for use of the courthouse steps and parking lot for the Freedom Walk for Human Trafficking on Oct. 14 at 9 a.m. The public is encouraged to take part in the event.

– voted to renew its ACCA (Association of County Commissions of Alabama) dues and an annual contract for the Cullman County Sherriff’s Office. Dues were renewed for the cost of $8,407, noting that they have not increased from last year’s fee.

-entered a one-year agreement with Johnson Technical for battery backup services. 

-in preparation for the 2020 census, authorized the Revenue Commissioner to negotiate a contract with Keet Consulting Services, LLC for GIS maintenance and support services for the Voter Address Management software. The total cost is estimated to be $23,000, but the commissioners believe it is a sound investment as the commission hopes to maximize census accuracy in the county.

-to preserve Cullman’s history, voted to enter a scanning service agreement with DocuStor for scanning and archiving of records to not exceed $4,000 a year. The project will take place over several years, but the commission will give the funds as needed annually.

-approved the plat of four subdivisions located throughout the county. In district three, Haley’s Cove Subdivision, located on County Roads 1408 and 1409, will develop seven lots. In district one, Harvell’s Addition Subdivision, on County Road 1224, will develop three lots. Two subdivisions were approved in district two. Moss Point Subdivision, on County Road 51, will develop 10 lots and will construct a private road. Also in district two, The Summit Subdivision, located on County Road 215, will develop 14 lots and will construct a private road.

-purchased paint from Ennis, Inc. through the State Bid List for striping 58 miles of road for $19,696.

Lastly, Commissioner Garry Marchman appointed Mary Dean Lamar to the Cullman 310 Authority Board to fill the unexpired term of Pat Thompson; the term will expire on April 1, 2023.

The next Cullman County Commission meeting will be held on Thursday, Aug. 31 at 10 a.m. in the commission meeting room located at the Cullman County Courthouse.

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