Commission talks COVID-19 precautions, Commission on Aging expansion

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Dr. James Thomas, standing, addresses the Cullman County Commission Tuesday morning. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Local physician James Thomas, at the Cullman County Commission’s regular meeting Tuesday, addressed the commissioners about the first day of the new policy requiring anyone entering the courthouse to have their temperature checked and to wear a mask.

“Just to give an update, it went very well,” said Thomas. “The courthouse had a delay in start in reference to getting this going. People lined up on the sidewalk in the heat. Our staff went all the way around the corner and tested about 100 and something people and marked the line. When the doors did open, there was no problem with flow at all.”

Thomas said he was pleased with the public’s response and reported very few negative comments.

He did have some good news to pass along, saying, “The numbers of COVID in 20 of 21 states have gone up, and gone up quite rapidly, but the deaths are not following.”

He encouraged everyone to remain vigilant in following social distancing guidelines and other recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Chairman Kenneth Walker thanked his fellow commissioners, courthouse staff and Thomas and his staff for their efforts in preparing for the new procedures at the courthouse.

“I would very much like to thank several people that were involved in Saturday and Sunday’s decision,” he said. “I knew we had a team that could do it and I really appreciate it.”

A public hearing was held regarding the County vacating a portion of County Road 2101. The portion of the road vacated is beyond a gate with a private keypad entry. The home and land owners adjacent to that portion of the road had no objections. The commission approved a resolution vacating that portion of the road.

A public hearing was also held Tuesday morning regarding the County applying for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for the renovation of the old Cullman County Rescue Squad building so it can be used by the Commission on Aging for senior services. There were no objections to the application.

The commission authorized Community Consultants to provide all administrative services for the CDBG and authorized St. John & Associates to provide engineering and architectural services. If the grant is approved for the project, the Commission on Aging would gain much-needed space for the many services it provides.

Commissioner Garry Marchman said, “The Commission on Aging is just packed in that small building up there with the senior center and everything else. It’s going to allow them a lot of flexibility to work on things like their Medicare programs and stuff like that.”

Commission on Aging Director Dusty Baker added, “It’s going to give us the space we need, especially trying to follow HIPAA and privacy policies.”

In other business, the commission approved the following items:

  • City of Cullman abatement for HomTex, Inc. in the amount of $5 million
  • Resolution 2020-30 to reappropriate leftover ATRIP funds from the resurfacing of County Road 747 toward the upcoming resurfacing of County Road 1141
  • Payment to Cullman Elks Veterans Committee for a Veterans Day Celebration Nov. 7 at the Cullman Airport in the amount of $8,000
  • Payment to Hygenix for sanitizing Cullman County buildings in the amount of $10,348
  • Purchase of one or more laptops and portable printers due to COVID-19
  • Purchase of hydrostatic pump for reclaimer at the road department for $5,500
  • Authorized Walker to sign the 5311 Supplemental Agreement No. 2 between CARTS and ALDOT, which would allow CARTS to use money from the CARES Act
  • Authorized Walker to sign an agreement on behalf of the Cullman County Commission with Flournoy Engineering and Consulting LLC for HVAC system at the Cullman County Courthouse
  • Correct the CARTS Bus Wash bid awarded to C.H. Harris Feb. 25, 2020 to include the bid bond amount
  • Awarded bid extension for lawn care and maintenance to Pro Lawn Unlimited
  • Awarded bid extension for jail supplies to North Alabama Chemical and Central Paper for chemicals only

The next commission meeting will be July 28 at 10 a.m. in the commission meeting room at the Cullman County Courthouse.

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