The vote came as part of the commission’s regular meeting on Tuesday, following a discussion about the projected road at the work session on Oct. 3. The commission, along with Pell City, is seeking 80 percent funding through the state of Alabama's Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, a road building initiative.
The projected path of the new road would essentially straighten it from the site of American Family Care to the entrance to the Jefferson State St. Clair entrance. According to officials, right-of-entry forms are already in hand for all but roughly 750 feet of the projected new road path.
It is that 750 feet that is potentially problematic – county and city officials have previously expressed a willingness to claim the property necessary for construction of the road via eminent domain if the property owners are unwilling to sign right-of-entry forms.
Pell City Mayor Joe Funderburg urged commissioners to take action at Thursday's work session.
"I think it's essential we move forward with this," he said. "Because of the time frame, I feel it is necessary we move in this direction."
Tuesday's vote only authorizes right of entry for surveying and researching purposes, county officials said.
"The important thing people understand is, this doesn't include the removal of somebody's house," commission Chairman Stan Batemon said. "This is just a portion of property.
"This will be a joint project with the city and the county, and probably the only opportunity to build a new access route to the property at this cost."
In other business, the commission:
• Re-appointed Lawrence Fields, Billy Murray and Joe Lee to the St. Clair County Healthcare Authority.
• Authorized county attorney Bill Weathington to begin proceedings for purchase of property adjoining the county's chert pit, in Odenville.
• Approved a letter of agreement with Moody Crossroads LLC, for the property in front of the new CVS.
• Approved an agreement with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service to provide veteran's outreach services for one year.
• Rescheduled the Dec. 5 work session to Dec. 10, prior to the regular meeting; and the Dec. 24 regular meeting to Dec. 19, following the regular work session. Both meetings will take place in Ashville.
• Authorized E-911 Director Bill Richvalsky to post three occasional dispatcher positions and three full-time dispatcher positions.
• Approved the job description for Election Clerk, and authorized Probate Judge Mike Bowling to post the vacancy.
• Approved a resolution postponing implementation of the county's tobacco tax, passed in 2004.
• Approved the list of county holidays.
• Accepted a $300,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Youth Services on behalf of the St. Clair County Day Program.
• Authorized Engineer Dan Dahlke to fill a vacant Operator I position.
• Approved a contract with Byron Rhodes for beaver control.
• Authorized Dahlke to post a vacancy for Chief Mechanic.
• Authorized repairs on Pinedale Circle, owing to a declaration of medical hardship.
• Approved travel requests submitted during the Oct. 3 work session.
• Approved the minutes of the Sept. 24 regular meeting.
• Approved payment of monthly bills in the amount of $653,641.80.
Contact Will Heath at email@example.com.