Pastor Mike Johnson proposed the request at the Sept. 30 commission meeting, citing safety concerns and the need for expansion as two reasons why the request was made.
The motion to table, made by District 4 Commissioner Jimmy Roberson, came on the heels of a public hearing held before the commission meeting where several questions were posed by concerned residents regarding access to emergency personnel services, possible changes of address and potential impact on business owners.
Robert Goins, the first resident to express concerns, discussed previous events where the road had been blocked off by debris and due to the blockage, a family member died after not being able to receive medical aid.
“We don’t intend to do anything that would hurt Mount Sharon Baptist Church, but we’ve got to have a way for an ambulance to get to our homes one way or another,” Goins said.
Pat Williams, a resident on Vick Road who runs a commercial lawn service, seemed concerned the vacation would result in the name of her road being changed.
“We’ve been there 20 years,” Williams said. “I’ve had 20 years with my contacts and it would be a financial (detriment) to change all my paperwork on my business and personal documents. I have more than 100 contacts and it would take me weeks. If they should happen to close that part of the road — which I have no problem with one way or the other — I don’t think that our road should have to have its name changed.”
Goins added that multiple family members on Goins Road also have businesses that potentially could be impacted.
Vincent Kennedy, director of county E911 services, did not have clear-cut answers readily available as to how it could affect the residents’ addresses, but said he would find out how much things would change if they were to go through with the change.
During the public hearing, Amber Whitlock, a mother who also serves as the Vacation Bible School director for the church, emphasized the safety concerns for the children who attend the church and the Vacation Bible School.
“I have a 12-year-old, an 8-year-old and a 5-year-old, and I’m afraid to let them out in the yard at the church,” Whitlock said. “The basketball court is on the other side of the road and our youth (building) is on the other side of the road. If we’re doing something in the kitchen or sanctuary, I have to tell them to wait a minute or wait until (someone can go with them) because sometimes people will just fly through there — 30, 40, 50 miles per hour down that little road.”
Johnson also discussed previous attempts to resolve the issue by attempting to purchase land so the road could be diverted.
“We offered well above fair-market value to the property owner, but the owner refused the proposal,” Johnson said.
Others stepped up and offered their inputs either for or against vacating the road, each side presenting their case in a civil manner aimed at reaching a fair solution for all involved.
In Roberson’s motion during the meeting, he appointed a committee consisting of Kennedy, Johnson, Goins, county engineer Tim Markert and himself and planned for the group to meet at a later date to discuss alternate solutions or come to an agreement between all parties on how to proceed.
In other business, the commission:
O Approved the Sept. 30 meeting minutes. Roberson abstained from voting.
O Approved a motion denying a request from county Emergency Management Agency alert notification manager Scott Murphree to award bids for a used bucket truck after Murphree opened two bids he received and discovered neither company was able to bid on the request.
O Approved Markert’s request to approve Mitchell’s Cove Subdivision Plat.
O Approved County Administrator Wayne Hall’s request for the commission to authorize the chairman to remove the temporary provision on a user agreement with Calhoun County’s E911 service to continue to provide 800 MHz radio service to public safety officials.
O Approved Hall’s requested budget amendments.
O Approved a conference and training request submitted by Wayne Hall for Reappraisal Department employee Bryan Allen to attend the 2014 Summer Conference Planning Meeting and Executive Board Meeting in Florence Nov. 13-14. The request was included in the fiscal year 2014 budget.
O Selected Roberson as the commission’s new chairman, effective Nov. 16 at 12:01 a.m. Roberson was nominated by District 1 Commissioner Jackie Swinford.
O Approved hiring two new employees, Brooke Presley and Jordan Hughes in the Revenue Department, a lateral move for revenue employee Teran Machen and a promotion for revenue employee Carrie Gable. All moves, effective Oct. 28, were included in the fiscal year 2014 budget.
O Approved Road Department engineer-in-training Heidi Lee’s completion of probationary period effective Oct. 15 and approved corrections officer Tabatha Hollingsworth’s resignation effective Oct. 22. Both moves were budgeted items.
O Approved expenditures.
O Hall announced a wellness screening scheduled for county employees held Nov. 4 from 9-11 a.m. at the Sylacauga Courthouse and Nov. 5 from 7:30-9 a.m. at the Talladega County Jail, 10 a.m.-noon at the Talladega County Courthouse, 1-3 p.m. at the Road Department and 4-6 p.m. at the Judicial Building in Talladega.
O Announced Swinford and District 2 Commissioner John Luker are sponsoring a garbage clean-up day Saturday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at Jenkin’s Grocery located at the corner of Stockdale Road and Ironaton Road.
O Announced the U.S. General Election is Nov. 5.
O Announced county offices will be closed Nov. 11 in observance of Veteran’s Day.
O Announced the next commission meeting is scheduled for Nov. 18 at 6 p.m.
Contact Shane Dunaway at email@example.com