County Commission denies request to vacate road
by Shane Dunaway
Jan 28, 2014 | 1744 views |  0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Talladega County Commission voted unanimously to deny a request to vacate a portion of Goins Road during a meeting held Monday.

The road became a popular topic in recent months after initially being discussed during a Commission meeting in September.

Rev. Mike Johnson, pastor of Mount Sharon Baptist Church brought the request to the Commission in a dual-pronged effort to resolve safety concerns on the road while offering the church an opportunity to continue its expansion efforts.

During the public hearing held Oct. 28, residents of Goins Road and neighboring Vick Road voiced their opposition to vacating the road, citing their concerns regarding the effort on home-based businesses and emergency personnel ingress and egress.

District 4 Commissioner Jimmy Roberson motioned to deny the request because he could see the request as a double-edged sword in terms of safety.

“The bottom line is either decision I would’ve recommended to the Commission, in my opinion, would have been a safety hazard,” Roberson said. “The Mount Sharon membership representatives who presented the case to the Commission are right — there is a safety hazard.

“Unfortunately, we made an effort to change the name of Vick Road, but we had opposition to that,” Roberson added. “We didn’t have a clear way for a 911 call or an emergency call to go to the remaining residents on Goins Road. There was no way for that to happen. That created a safety issue as well.”

During the meeting following the public hearing Oct. 28, Roberson established a committee to discuss the issue including Director of E911 Services Victor Kennedy, Johnson, resident Robert Goins, county engineer Tim Markert and himself.

After nearly three months of work to resolve the issue, Roberson said the committee realized

“It was very clear to everyone in the end that it was going to be a safety issue with either recommendation we would have made,” Roberson said. “There was really no clear-cut path to relocate rather than creating another safety hazard for the residents that actually reside on the road. I recommended leaving the road as is as it has been for the 23 years I’ve been a Commissioner.”

District 1 Commissioner Jackie Swinford presented two proclamations on behalf of the Commission to Lincoln Elementary School Principal Donna Hudson and LES Assistant Principal Cynthia Watts declaring Jan. 28 as “Lincoln Elementary School CLAS Banner School Day in Talladega” and to Munford Middle School Principal Angel Carter and Assistant Principal Amber Pressley declaring Jan. 28 as “Munford Middle School CLAS Banner School Day in Talladega.”

Both schools received official notification Thursday that they were selected as 2013 Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools Banner School Award winners.

“Let me say this to the Commission,” District 3 Commissioner Kelvin Cunningham said. “All these ladies do an awesome job. Honestly, they’ve got the kids in their hearts.”

In other business, the Commission:

O Voted 4-0 to amend to agenda to include a discussion item from Talladega County Emergency Management Agenda Director Deborah Gaither regarding Senate Bill 149. Gaither said she sent all local responders an update on the bill, which states the Alabama Emergency Management Agency can surplus property to local jurisdictions or municipalities.

O Unanimously approved the Jan. 13 meeting minutes.

O Voted 3-0 to approve the minutes for a special called meeting held Jan. 21 where the Commission approved a $29,900 budget amendment to cover the cost of a bucket truck for EMA. Roberson abstained from the vote.

O Unanimously approved a request from Talladega County Sheriff Jimmy Kilgore to surplus three vehicles no longer in use by the department.

O Voted 4-0 to approve four appointments to the Department of Human Resources Board presented by County Administrator Wayne Hall. Ada Hamilton, of Childersburg; Kay Champ, of Childersburg; Charles Bonner, of Munford; and Louis Zook, of Munford, were appointed to six-year terms.

O Unanimously approved Hall’s request regarding an Automated Clearing House bank contract with Talladega First National Bank.

O Voted 4-0 to approve budget amendments presented by Hall.

O Unanimously approved four budgeted conference and training requests presented by Hall. The requests allow Road Department employee Heidi Lee to attend to Temporary Traffic Control Conference Feb. 5 in Pelham, County Engineer Tim Markert to attend the 57th Annual Transportation Conference Feb. 11-12 in Montgomery, Road Department employee Shawn McComb to attend the Alabama Vegetation Management Society’s Annual Meeting Feb. 25-26 in Tuscaloosa and Reappraisal Department employee John Allen to attend the Alabama Certified Appraiser Exam March 13-14 at Auburn University.

O Voted 4-0 to approve six personnel changes and requests, including the resignations of Revenue Department employee Teran Machen effective Jan. 24 and Road Department Engineer Assistant Robert Buyher effective Jan. 10, the termination of Corrections Officer Daniel Bethune effective Jan. 17 and the hiring of Road Department Public Service Workers Ceary Embry and Lamont Scott effective Jan. 26. Miriam Thornton, an EMA employee, completed her probationary period effective Jan. 9.

O Unanimously approved expenditures presented by Hall.

O Announced the next Commission meeting will be held Feb. 10 at 6 p.m.

Contact Shane Dunaway at sdunaway@dailyhome.com