Commission recognizes CARTS driver, approves grants

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Left to right are Commissioner Kerry Watson, Chairman Kenneth Walker, CARTS driver Wade Hancock, CARTS Director Joyce Echols and Commissioner Garry Marchman. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman County Commission on Tuesday presented Cullman Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS) driver Wade Hancock with a certificate recognizing his accomplishments of being named the Otis Reed Driver of the Year and taking first place in the Van Division at the Alabama Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP) Statewide Bus and Paratransit Roadeo, which was held March 23 in Eufaula. Hancock won first place in the Van Division and Driver of the Year at the 2019 National Community Transit Roadeo, which took place in Palm Springs, California this year. Hancock also won last year’s Driver of the Year award and first place in the Van Division at the 2018 National Community Transit Roadeo, which was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Hancock’s achievements were also celebrated over the weekend at the CARTS special appreciation picnic at Sportsman Lake Park.

The commission announced County office will be closed July 4-5 in observance of Independence Day.

In other business

The commission approved the signing of a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for improvements to County Roads 68 and 54. It agreed to enter into a contract with Community Consultants, Inc. to act as administrator for the grant.

The commission also approved the submission of a CDBG grant on behalf of the Cullman County Board of Education for phases 2-6 of the all-inclusive playground at the Cullman County Child Development Center. Community Consultants, Inc. will act as administrators for that grant as well.  

The Cullman Regional Airport is close to beginning the final phase of work to its north taxiway. Phase 3 (North Taxiway Reconstruction, and Alternate 1, airport signs and lighting) bids were awarded to Carcel & G Construction for $1,244,913.87. The project is part of a 95/5 grant with state and federal transportation funds paying 95% and the City of Cullman and Cullman County splitting the remaining 5%.

Earlier in June, Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama and Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama on Friday announced that Cullman Regional Airport has been awarded a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant of $1,543,500 for taxiway reconstruction. The funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). (www.cullmantribune.com/2019/06/07/updated-cullman-regional-airport-receives-1-5m-grant-for-taxiway-reconstruction)

Cullman County Parks and Recreation Director Doug Davenport has been given the authorization to seek bids for an additional train for Sportsman Lake Park. The cost is not to exceed $55,000. Davenport cited loss of revenue when the older existing train is not running due to mechanical problems. He hopes that by alternating between two trains, the park will always have a train available for guests to enjoy.

The Cullman County Sanitation Department was authorized to purchase 38 standard duty flat front load containers for $29,063.

The courthouse will be receiving a new security scan system. Commissioners said the current system has been in place for 20 years and has become unreliable and costly to repair. The new Rapiscan System will cost $26,206.

The bid for the upgrade to the courthouse elevators was awarded to Bagby Elevator Company out of Birmingham. The bid was $205,465 and the installation is estimated to begin in 14 weeks and take 10 weeks to complete.

The commission approved the plat for Shaggybark Park Subdivision located in District 2 along County Road 255.

County Road 2110 in Shoreline Estates Subdivision located in District 2 off County Road 41 was deemed not private, therefore it will be maintained by the County.

The commission approved the release of the surety bond for Mallard Pointe Subdivision located in District 2 along County Road 225.

The bond for Pinnacle Landing Subdivision located in District 1 off County Road 1285 was extended.

The next commission work session will be July 9 at 8:30 a.m. followed by the commission meeting at 10 a.m.

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Christy Perry

christy@cullmantribune.com