Local Government County dismisses 2 companies from pending litigation | CullmanSense

Local Government

County dismisses 2 companies from pending litigation

CULLMAN - The Cullman County Commission on Tuesday morning authorized County Attorney Chad Floyd to dismiss two parties from the County’s pending litigation against three companies it alleges have been illegally providing garbage pickup and renting Dumpsters within the county.

Back in December, the County authorized Floyd to file a complaint against Republic Services, Arab Rental and Sales, and Hyche, LLC based on a resolution passed several years ago that names Cullman County as the only provider of solid waste collection services in the county.

Floyd explained the circumstances, saying, “Approximately six weeks ago the county filed a suit, a declaratory judgement action against three parties, Republic Services, Arab Rental and Sales, and Hyche, LLC. We’ve been able to reach an agreement with two of those companies, them being Republic Services and Arab Rental and Sales, and because of those agreements I would request that the commission authorize me to dismiss both of those parties from that litigation, as well as authorize the chairman to sign a settlement agreement with Arab Rental and Sales.”

The action will move forward against Hyche, LLC.

The commission also did the following at its Tuesday meeting:

- authorized Chairman Kenneth Walker and EMA Director Phyllis Little to sign off on an Emergency Management Performance Grant from the state in the amount of $2,342. The grant will provide operating funds for EMA.

-  authorized repairs to the weather siren at the agricultural center in the amount of $12,238. The costs will be split evenly between the County and the City of Cullman. According to Assistant EMA Director Scott McDonald, the siren has been having problems for the last several years and requires a front panel upgrade.

- tabled the renewal of the RAVE message call system with AT&T for $9,100. RAVE is a mass notification system that is used to alert people of incoming severe weather and hazardous situations. McDonald and the commission agreed that with all of the news and weather apps available now, the RAVE system has become a little redundant.

- authorized Walker to sign the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, for the sheriff’s office’s new K-9 unit in the amount of $24,000. 

“We put in for it,” said Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry earlier this month. “We’ve bought K-9s in the past, our drug K-9s, using grants. We’d already purchased one K-9, from the sheriff’s office, from our funds, and we put in for this grant to purchase a K-9 vehicle and a K-9 for narcotics enforcement in the county. That’s one of my top priorities is going after drug traffickers, distributers, anybody using or selling drugs. So it was a good opportunity.”

The grant will be matched with funds from the CCSO’s budget.

The CCSO currently has four drug K-9s and one tracking K-9. This new K-9 will be used for narcotics detection. (See more at www.cullmantribune.com/articles/2018/02/01/sheriff-s-office-receive-new-...)

- awarded professional services contracts for consulting and engineering for the RTP grant for the Stony Lonesome OHV Park project. The commission selected Community Consultants for the consulting role on the project and St. John and Associates for the engineering work.

-  adopted the revised substance abuse and drug and alcohol policy for CARTS. The FTA required policy updates with the addition of four new drugs that are not mentioned in the current policy.

- approved resolution no. 2018-14 to request the attorney general’s opinion. Floyd explained the process required to request the opinion. “Any time we seek an opinion from a corporate body like this, a resolution has to accompany that request for opinion so that’s why we need a resolution to support this attorney general opinion request.” The commission did not discuss what opinion they were seeking from the attorney general.

- authorized the director of Cullman County Animal Control, Capt. Tim McKoy, to sign a memorandum of understanding with the police chief of the City of Jasper to allow a Jasper police officer to ride along and train with Cullman County Animal Control.

Sgt. Chris Westmoreland further explained the arrangement with the Jasper Police Department. “Jasper’s police chief reached out to our agency in reference to training one of their new animal control officers. There is an upcoming class in April here in Cullman, but to get him some education and training, both me and Captain McKoy are certified field training officers in animal control and they wanted to have their unit come over and train with us for about a week to get him some on-the-job training.”

- approved an addendum to the video services agreement with BellSouth Telecommunications. The County entered into a franchise agreement with AT&T/BellSouth in September of 2008 for a 10-year period. The franchise agreement entitles the County to three percent of the gross revenue generated by AT&T video services within Cullman County. The addendum will extend the current agreement for 10 years.

- approved a change to the pay date for County employees, moving it from Wednesday to Thursday. HR Manager Judy Bradford explained the need for this change.

“Historically, Cullman County used to pay its employees on Fridays and then it got moved back to Thursdays way back and then several years ago it got moved up to Wednesdays, so it puts a strain on the payroll being able to meet that Wednesday deadline. We have to have the direct deposit file to our bank no later than Monday at 3 p.m. so that it can be transmitted from our bank to individual banks so that it can go in employees’ bank accounts and be available at 12:01 Wednesday morning because technically pay day is Wednesday so it’s got to be available then.” Bradford said.

“Well, anytime we have a Monday holiday, we can’t meet that deadline so what we have to do is back up payroll. We can’t run it on a Tuesday because we wouldn’t meet the Wednesday direct deposit deadline, so we have to run it on Friday which means everyone has to have their time in on Thursdays and it’s always an estimated payroll because things will come up on Friday after payroll has been done so there’s always a lot of adjustments that have to be done on that next pay day,” said Bradford. “We have that issue now, but we are going to be going to a new financial system and a new payroll system and with all the interfaces between time-keeping and payroll, there’s a good chance we’re not going to be able to meet that Monday 3 p.m. deadline and so rather than wait till those issues happen and then spring it on people at the last minute, what we’d like to do is go ahead and move that pay date back to Thursday like it used to be.”

- approved the Child Advocacy Center’s request to use Sportsman Lake Park for the Safe Kids Expo on April 14.

- approved the surplus of the old health department building for demolition. The commission agreed that the building has become very out of date and that the building is not handicapped accessible, has a problem with leaks and has become unsafe and unusable.

- approved the surplus of an ice machine from the Cullman County Detention Center to be disposed of as scrap.

- approved the surplus of various discarded pieces of office furniture, file cabinets, chairs and other items that are currently being stored in the basement of the courthouse to be sold as scrap or for disposal.

- approved the transfer of a 2004 Ford Ranger from sales tax office to the county commission with a payment of $3,000.

- approved the purchase of a security alert system for the courthouse from Response Technologies in the amount of $21,265.14. The system will replace the current button system at the courthouse that is failing and has aged beyond repair.

- approved the purchase of a 2018 Ford AWD utility vehicle off the state bid list through Stivers Ford for the sales tax office for the amount of $25,148. The vehicle is for the use of one of the sales tax office’s inspectors.

- approved the payment for emergency repairs to the sewer pumps at the agricultural center with Bark-Ley Plumbing Contractors in the amount of $16,863. The cost of the repairs is being split between the ag center and Cullman SportsFit next door.

- approved the purchase of a truck mounted one-man pothole patcher from the Alabama County Joint Bidding Program through Coblentz Equipment & Parts Co. at the cost of $209,721. County Engineer John Lang believes the machine will pay for itself in four to five years by reducing overhead costs.

- approved the surplus of six 2018 Mack dump trucks from the road department to be auctioned by JM Wood. The trucks are to be sold in late May or early June to JM Wood at a profit and will be replaced with 2019 Kenworth Trucks.

- voted to extend bid no. 1228 with Bear Concrete, Inc. for poly pipes. Bear Concrete is the only local vendor that provides this product.

- voted to extend bid no. 1257 with Good Hope Contracting for bituminous plant mix.

The commission’s next work session will be Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 8:30 a.m. followed by its meeting at 10. The public is welcome to attend.