Workforce shortage results in policy changes

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HR Manager Judy Bradford (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – A current shortage of employees resulted in the Cullman County Commission examining and changing the definition of “relative” in their nepotism policy Tuesday evening. The county, especially the Road Department, is struggling to fill open positions as the peak paving months have arrived. By allowing cousins, aunts and uncles to be hired, the county hopes to fill more of those open slots.  

Human Resources Manager Judy Bradford explained the change to the nepotism policy, “Our existing nepotism policy for Cullman County is a lot more restrictive than what the state policy requires.” She continued, “We’ve missed out on some good applicants in the past few years because of our restrictions in our definition of relatives.” 

The commission agreed and voted to allow for the hiring of cousins, aunts and uncles while all considerations regarding chain of command employment restrictions remained in place.  

The commission passed a resolution allowing a tax abatement for Project Ride. Stanley Kennedy with the Cullman Economic Development Agency said, “This is a car part manufacturer that makes high-end (custom) car parts and does some high-end (custom) car work. They are hoping to build a new headquarter facility out in the county.”  

Kennedy added, “This facility will also have a tourism aspect to it. Again, this product is a show product and people who take an interest in this will come and view this facility not only to see the product, but to see how the product is made.”  

The investment would be $4,010,000 with an abatement in the amount of $240,498 over a twoyear period. The investment is expected to create an additional $136,448 of education revenue over the next 10 years. The project is expected to create five new jobs starting between $25-$30 an hour.  

David Tucker was recognized on his retirement after 10 years of service with the road department. Commissioner Kerry Watson said of Tucker, “David worked for us at the road department, and he is one of those guys that’s a very outstanding employee and I hate to see him go. I hope he enjoys his retirement.” 

The commission also approved the following items on the agenda: 

  • Approved Resolution 2021-19 to refinance water bonds.  
  • Approved Resolution 2021-20- Condemnation for easement property rights related to Parcel ID 09 05 16 3 001 012 003 and 09 05 16 3 001 012 001 necessary at Cullman Regional Airport.  
  • Approved the purchase of a soft serve ice cream machine for Sportsman Lake Park. The lowest quote coming from Dykes FoodService Solutions in the amount of $14, 181.64. 
  • Approved submission of a letter of intent and/or proposals to pursue opportunities with Major League Fishing Tournaments in partnership with the City of Cullman and Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce and authorized Chairman Clemons to sign partnership letter.  
  • Approved a one-time additional allocation of $500.00 to polling places that currently receive an annual allocation for upkeep and maintenance.  
  • Approved amending the amount that is subject to commission approval from $10,000 up to the bid limit for vehicles and construction equipment purchases only, to allow the facilities and equipment manager more flexibility.  
  • Approved surplus of a 2005 Chevrolet Colorado from the road department to be auctioned on GovDeals.  
  • Approved purchasing of Express Vote machines to provide assistance to voters with disabilities. The net cost to the Cullman County Commission will be $8,775 for license, maintenance and support.  
  • Approved the painting of the county garagelowest quote from Bryant Enterprises in the amount of $10,500.  
  • Approval of the Automated Weather Observation Station bid at the Cullman Regional Airport as recommended by Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Inc.  
  • Approval of Swamp John’s food truck to use the south parking lot of the Cullman County Courthouse on June 14, 2021 from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.  
  • Approval of Agcor Steel LLC to use the south parking lot of the Cullman County Courthouse on May 28, 2021 from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. for a job fair.  
  • Authorized Chairman Clemons to sign as authorized representative for the American Rescue Plan Act Funds.  
  • Authorized Chairman Clemons to sign the Alabama Department of Youth Services Agency Grant Agreement for FY 2021-2023 in the amount of $183,000 as the fiscal agent for Lauderdale County.  
  • Authorized Chairman Clemons to sign the Alabama Department of Youth Services Agency Grant Agreement for FY 2021-2023 in the amount of $91,900 as the fiscal agent for Jackson County.  
  • Authorized Chairman Clemons to sign the Alabama Department of Youth Services Agency Grant Agreement for FY 2021-2023 in the amount of $207,752 as the fiscal agent for Cullman County.  
  • Authorized Chairman Clemons to sign the Alabama Department of Youth Services Agency Grant Agreement for FY 2021-2023 in the amount of $157,505 as the fiscal agent for Blount County.  
  • Authorized Chairman Clemons to sign contract for professional services for the design and construction required to maintain the 100-foot runway pavement width at the Cullman Regional Airport as part of the runway reconstruction project.  
  • Approved plat Eastern Shores at Catoma Phase 1-a minor subdivision containing 27 lots located in District 3 off County Road 1462.  
  • Approved plat Deer View Estates-a minor subdivision containing 14 lots located in District 4 off County Road 794 and County Road 793.  
  • Approved plat Park Side Estates-a minor subdivision containing 10 lots located in District 3 off Hulaco Road (County Road 1598 and Herman Church Road (County Road 1570).  
  • Bid #1347: One used roadbed processor-no bidders-rebid.  
  • Bid #1348: Concrete-Ready Mix USA.  

The next Cullman County Commission Meeting will be Tuesday June 15, 2021 at 6 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room.  

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Christy Perry

christy@cullmantribune.com