July 31, 2015

Commission agrees to upgrade aging phone system

By GARY HANNER, Times Associate Editor

PELL CITY – At its meeting Tuesday, the St. Clair County Commission took care of a problem with its aging telephone system.

On the recommendation of the St. Clair County Technology Team, the commission awarded a bid for VOIP Telephone System to Windstream Communications LLC. in the amount of $119,200.89 plus an additional $27,065.42 for one year of maintenance.

Commission Chairman Paul Manning said this will make the phone system much better and easier.

“This is going to make it very efficient for taxpayers to get answers to what they need,” Manning said.

In the past, if you called the courthouse in Pell City and the person you needed was in Ashville, you had to hang up and dial the Ashville number.

“No longer,” Manning said.

Glenn Morgan with the tech team said the new phone system will provide more features that will make business life much more pleasant.

“It’s just going to be a better phone system for everybody,” Morgan said.

Tech team member John Myers said the key point is that it will unify the phone system throughout the county.

“This county is split into two seats,” Myers said. “This will allow our offices, which hold a northern and southern seat, to be reached without dialing another number. This will be helpful to the public and communities of St. Clair County.”

In other business Tuesday, county engineer Dan Dahlke talked to the commission about property next to the chert pit in Odenville. Dahlke said there are three tracts of land, and the owner is willing to sale it for $53,827.

The county had the land appraised at $53,054. The commission’s next move is to offer the property owner the appraised value.

In another matter, the commission agreed to enter into a consulting agreement with Community Insurance Group to negotiate renewal rates with current insurance providers wherein they will be paid 30 percent of any savings achieved on behalf of St. Clair County.

County attorney James Hill said his understanding is that this review will be nothing more than a rate review.

“It will not be a review to consider moving other products, services, plans, benefits, policies or any of that,” Hill said. “This is nothing but a rate review, and that is how it is drawn up and considers nothing but that.”

In other business, the commission:

  • Approved a resolution authorizing local match funds in the amount of $250,131 for capital, administrative and operational expenses for FY16 Public Transportation grant.
  • Approved a resolution authorizing Manning to execute and submit a Public Transportation grant application and all related agreements and documents in connection with the grant program.
  • Nominated Commissioner Ken Crowe and Dahlke to be recommended to the Board of Equalization.
  • Approved a request from the St. Clair County Board of Education for $1,000 in support of the 2015 Special Olympics to be held at the Moody City Park.
  • Made the following reappointments: Teresa Lovejoy and the Rev. Paul Brasher to the St. Clair County Department of Human Resources Board; Lyman Lovejoy to the St. Clair County Industrial Development Board; and Josh Kell to the St. Clair County Public Building Authority.
  • Agreed to reschedule the Aug. 20 work session to Aug. 25 at 9 a.m. at the St. Clair County Courthouse in Pell City due to the ACCA annual conference. The regular commission meeting will follow the work session.
  • Approved a travel request from St. Clair County Probate Judge Mike Bowling.
  • Approved the payment of regular bills.
  • Approved the low bid of Hudson Construction from Chattanooga for Public Works bid for micro surface paving on various county roads. Dahlke said this bid covers 50 miles of road and that 12-to-14 miles of road would be done this fall.
  • Approved the agreement with J.M. Wood Auction Company on rotation of Mack trucks (three dump trucks and a lowboy).
  • Approved sending a letter of commitment to Nextran Truck Center for the 2015-16 budget year.
  • Agreed to send out bids for herbicide spraying on rights of way for the 2015-16 budget year.
  • Named Commissioners Tommy Bowers and Jeff Brown to work with Dahlke to come back with a recommendation on a paving equipment purchase through NIPA.
  • Approved an agreement with the city of Riverside for the county to supply pipe needed for work to be done on Sugar Farm Road at a cost of $1,591.
  • Approved two agreements with the city of Moody. One was for work to be done at Canterbury Road at a cost of $6,250. The city will pay $4,625 and the county will pay $1,625. The second one was for work to be done at Franklin Gap Road at a cost of $9,500. The city will pay $6,250 and the county will pay $3,250.

Contact Gary Hanner at ghanner@thestclairtimes.com.

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