Commission lays out Annual Transportation Plan, approves airport project funding

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Cullman Regional Airport General Manager Ben Harrison addresses the Cullman County Commission Tuesday morning. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman County Engineer Bryan Cheatwood at Tuesday’s meeting of the Cullman County Commission presented the County’s Annual Transportation Plan for FY 2021. The plan includes the repaving of County Roads 1212, 1282 and 1545. Funding for these projects, $1.3 million, will come from the Rebuild Alabama Act fuel tax.

The Rebuild Alabama Act requires that each municipality adopt an annual transportation plan no later than Aug. 31, and provide a detailed list of projects for which expenditures are intended to be made in the next fiscal year, based upon an estimate of the revenues anticipated from the fund. These funds can only be used only for maintenance, improvement, replacement, and construction of roads and bridges maintained by Cullman County.

Cheatwood explained, “The plan includes County Road 1212 between (Alabama Highway) 157 to Old Highway 31, (County Road) 1282 from Old 31 to (U.S. Highway 31) and County Road 1545, Gold Ridge Road, from (Alabama Highway) 69 back to County Road 1422.”

The projects total approximately 8-10 miles.

Cullman Regional Airport will soon be clearing an overgrown area that hinders the south approach by reducing visibility. The commission approved the clearing of one of the four areas requested by airport general manager Ben Harrison.

“I have to have the first part which is the base or Area A. A is the approach. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) calls it the 20 to 1,” Harrison told the commission. “If the 20 to 1 is not clear when we do the runway rebuild next year, we will lose 800 feet of our runway.”

If the FAA reduces the current runway by 800 feet, Harrison explained that charter and corporate planes will no longer be able to land at Cullman Regional Airport. Harrison asked for four areas to be cleared for a total of $335,000.

The City of Cullman has already approved the request but Commissioner Garry Marchman said, “I’m not going to approve $168,000. I’m not going to do that. Not with all the stuff we got going on that we can’t get money for. I want to break it down into smaller amounts just to get us by for right now.”

The commission agreed to approve the clearing and grubbing of the most crucial areas at the airport with a shared cost of 50% with the City of Cullman and 50% for Cullman County as co-owners of the airport. The cost of the approved clearing is $113,000.

A new start-up business near West Point will bring six to eight new jobs starting at an average of $24.10/hour. The commission approved an abatement to Southern Integrity Meats, which Cullman Economic Development Agency Existing Industry Project Manager Stanley Kennedy described as “processing, retail and custom slaughter.”

Kennedy added, “It will be a total investment of $335,000. The abatement package will save the company just under $19,000, but based on their projection of sales, the County will see an annual sales tax of $33,655.”

In other business, the commission approved the following items:

  • Set public hearing for Oct. 14, 2020 for a proposed vacation of a right-of-way between Lots 3 and 4 on Lake David Drive NW, Cullman
  • Request from Festhalle Market Steering Committee for $3,000
  • Purchase of three easements adjacent to Cullman Regional Airport to maintain existing runway approach
  • Purchase of a hydrostatic power control unit (HPCU) for a 973 Caterpillar Track Loader
  • Authorized Chairman Kenneth Walker to sign a memorandum of agreement between the Town of South Vinemont and the Cullman County Commission
  • Authorized Walker to sign a construction agreement for a Federal Aid Project with ALDOT for the resurfacing of County Road 1141
  • Resolution for the resurfacing of County Road 1141
  • Ratified two payments to A/C Innovations for sprayer machines and disinfectant due to COVID-19 for a combined amount of $12,602
  • Authorized EMA Director Phyllis Little to sign a grant from the Alabama Department of Public Health for the State Mortuary Operations Response Team funding in the amount of $30,000
  • Proposed plat resurvey of Lot 2 of Thrasher subdivision, a minor subdivision located in District 3 on County Road 1339
  • Proposed plat, The Grove Estates, a minor subdivision on a private road located in District 3 off of County Road 1402
  • Walker reappointment of Dana Phillips as the board vice-chair on the E-911 Board for a four-year term expiring 9/1/24
  • Commissioner Kerry Watson reappointment of Dorothy Maddox as board treasurer to the E-911 Board for a four-year term expiring 9/1/2024
  • Marchman reappointment of Samuel Tucker to the E-911 Board for a four-year term expiring 9/1/2024
  • Extended bid for fog and scrub to Ergon
  • Extended bid for pest control to American Pest Control
  • Awarded bid for micro-surfacing to Whitaker Contracting

 

The next Cullman County Commission work session will be Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. The next Cullman County Commission meeting will be Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020 at 10 a.m.

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Christy Perry

christy@cullmantribune.com