Commission addresses fence concerns; Sweet Tater Festival to go forward

Several motorists have complained to the Cullman County Commission that this fence obstructs the view of those attempting to turn onto County Road 1422 from County Road 1486. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Concerns over a fence at the intersection of County Road 1422 and County Road 1486 were discussed at Tuesday’s Cullman County Commission work session prior to the commission meeting. Several motorists have complained that the fence obstructs the view of those attempting to turn onto 1422 from 1486.

Cullman County Attorney Emily Johnston addressed the commission, saying, “A resident has constructed a fence that really serves no purpose. It’s really more for decoration, but it is a vision obstruction.”

Johnston and Cullman County Engineer Bryan Cheatwood have written and visited the residents who own the fence, but no compromise has been reached.

“The greatest concern is people on 1422 hitting someone pulling out from 1486,” Cheatwood said.

Johnston added, “It’s a liability on the County. We have to keep the roadway safe. We have done everything we know to do to try and make it right.”

Asking a judge to declare where the easement is at the intersection was one consideration. Cheatwood informed the commission that the residents mentioned moving in the coming weeks. Rather than involving a judge at this time, the commission agreed to reach out to the resident of the home again to determine if they own or rent the property.

“The last thing we ever want to do is to bring any kind of action out in the county. We are concerned from a liability standpoint that someone could really get hurt,” said Johnston.

The commission gave approval to Cullman County Parks and Recreation to move forward with plans for this year’s Sweet Tater Festival. Vendors will be spaced apart to comply with social distancing orders and increased signage and other indicators will be placed throughout Smith Lake Park for guests to follow. The event is scheduled for Sept. 6-7.

Commission Chairman Kenneth Walker asked for the commission’s thoughts after receiving word that the Cullman Lions Club plans to go forward with the Cullman County Fair this fall.

Commissioner Gary Marchman said, “As far as I am concerned, we have to go by the guidelines that the State puts out. If they put out that you still have to have masks and social distancing, that doesn’t mean we can’t have events. We just gotta make those events up to their policies.”

Cullman County Emergency Agency (EMA) Director Phyllis Little updated the commission on the latest COVID-19 numbers for Cullman County. She reported.

“Our COVID-19 cases, as of today (prior to the 10 a.m. daily update Tuesday morning), stand at 985 total in the county. We added 39 since yesterday. We have nine deaths. Our seven-day average is down some.”  

Little encouraged everyone to wear a mask when out.

The County has filed two Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) claims- one for hazard pay and one for supplies and equipment.

In other business, the commission approved the following items:

  • Resolution 2020-33 changing the speed limit on County Road 1684 from 35 mph to 20 mph
  • Resolution 2020-34 changing the speed limit on County Road 1762 from 35 mph to 20 mph
  • Resolution 2020-35 authorizing local matching funds for CARTS FY-2021
  • Resolution 2020-36 authorizing the filing of 5311 grant application
  • Resolution 2020-37 authorizing the filing of the CARES Act grant application
  • Resolution 2020-38 accepting grant for the New Canaan community shelter
  • Taxiway bid at the Cullman Regional Airport
  • Accepting AWOS contract for the Cullman Regional Airport
  • ACCA Legislative Committee Nominee- Garry Marchman
  • ACCA One Voice Session Representative- Garry Marchman
  • County Road 1636 to be included in the county maintenance system
  • Reimbursements to the sheriff’s office for expenditures
  • Employer ‘Plan to Increase” Tier I member contribution rates for RSA retirement as required by adoption of Act 2019-132 (plan does not increase Tier I employee contributions at this time)
  • Opening of a new account at Merchants Bank for CARTS Escrow as requested by ALDOT, which will consist of deposits from contact transport revenue and advertising revenue.
  • Ratified insolvents, errors and taxes in litigation for 2019 and uncollected insolvents and taxes in litigation for previous years for the Revenue Office.
  • Appointed Cliff Harris to the Health Care Authority Board to fill the unexpired term of Stephen Donaldson. Term set to expire June 30, 2021.
  • Proposed plat for Clear Creek Cove, a minor subdivision containing seven lots located off County Road 813
  • Extended bid no. 1313 for aggregate to Blount Springs Material and Madison Material
  • Accepted bid no. 1326 for gas and diesel to B&B
  • Accepted bid no. 1327 for placement of surface treatments to various county roads to Charlie Watts and Barry Wheeler


The next Cullman County Commission meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020 at 10 a.m., with the work session meeting at 8:30 a.m.

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