County hesitant to hand over deed to animal shelter
by Jennifer Cohron
Feb 04, 2014 | 1951 views | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print
County commissioners said Monday they are hesitant to hand over the county’s stake in the current animal shelter in downtown Jasper to the Jasper City Council at this time. Daily Mountain Eagle - Rachel Davis
County commissioners said Monday they are hesitant to hand over the county’s stake in the current animal shelter in downtown Jasper to the Jasper City Council at this time. Daily Mountain Eagle - Rachel Davis
Members of the Walker County Commission said Monday that they do not want to give up the county’s stake in the current animal shelter until a replacement is available.

Officials with the city of Jasper recently decided to keep the facility on Birmingham Avenue open instead of partnering with the county on construction of a new shelter at the local landfill.

In a recent city work session, county attorney Eddie Jackson said the county would be giving up its half interest in the property.

Commissioner Keith Davis spoke up Monday after Jackson asked for a vote giving chairman Billy Luster permission to sign the deed. “I thought we had discussed in the last meeting or the meeting before not to convey ownership until our shelter was complete,” Davis said.

Jackson said city officials had not been told in previous conversations that the transfer of the deed was contingent on the status of the new shelter.

He added that he has also drawn up paperwork stating that the county will continue to have use of the facility.

“That was the intention is that the shelter would be used jointly until our shelter is open. I don’t know that they have insisted on a deed, but we told them repeatedly that we would give it to them,” Jackson said.

Commissioners Bobby Nunnelley, Dan Wright and Steven Aderholt also expressed a desire to maintain the county’s interest in the property for the time being.

“We’re not trying to do anything in bad faith here. It’s just a matter of we have a shelter that we’ve got to build, and I think it’s in our best interest to maintain partial control of the property, especially since we actually run the facility that is there now,” Aderholt said.

In other action:

• County engineer Mike Short said that the U.S. Corps of Engineers is not expected to approve the county’s proposal to fix Frozen Hollow Road by relocating 200 feet of a nearby creek.

“The creek encroached on the fill of the roadway and caused a slide, so about half the road is gone. Under orders from 2008, the EPA has governance over any location that rainwater runs, so we’re kind of between a rock and a hard place here. We’ve got to have their approval,” Short said.

Once an official rejection letter is received, Short said the county could appeal to a higher ranking authority in the organization.

•The commission awarded the bid for the Drummond Camp Creek Portal project to Dunn Construction. Officials said the road improvements will primarily benefit miners employed at Shoal Creek Mine near the Tuscaloosa County line.

•Short said that the initial surveying has been completed for the Smith Chapel Bridge and Brown’s Bridge projects.

“They’re in what is called a hydraulics review now to determine the amount of water going through the creeks to see how high the lowest part of the bridge can be,” Short said.

Short added that more surveying may be necessary, and construction could be expected to begin in 12 to 18 months.

•Tommy Davis of the Walker County Emergency Management Agency said four weather sirens from the recent inactive list have been repaired and seven others will be in working order once the necessary parts arrive.

Bids are expected to be opened this week for sirens that must be replaced on Burrows Crossing Road and in the Dilworth community as well as seven other sirens that are not on public property.

•The commission passed resolutions for general tax levy.

•Luster announced that the county’s legislative reapportionment project was recently completed by officials from Alabama State University. 

Luster said the cost to the county was $500, approximately $21,000 less than a proposal that had been received from a private company.