Short restricts truck traffic on Empire Road

Posted 8/24/18

The Walker County Commission heard County Engineer Mike Short say Monday that subsurface investigation has been going on the condition of Empire Road and that truck traffic will be restricted for now …

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Short restricts truck traffic on Empire Road


The Walker County Commission heard County Engineer Mike Short say Monday that subsurface investigation has been going on the condition of Empire Road and that truck traffic will be restricted for now on the road from Sumiton to the Cullman County line. 

Problems with the road go back to the Christmas 2012 floods and rains that damaged roads throughout the area, he said. 

"We had a slope failure there," resulting in engineering firm Terracon being contracted for drilling and help on designing a repair. 

"While they are in the process of doing that, until we get these items taken care of, I would like to recommend that we post no trucks on that route beginning in the town of Sumiton and going to the county line," Short said, although he said with that recommendation he did not need approval from the commission and that his crews would proceed to make the posting. 

"This is just for trucks leaving Main Street in Sumiton and exiting into Cullman County," Short said. 

District 4 Commissioner Steven Aderholt, agreeing with Short, said it would be expensive just to repair that one section of road, with the county not having the funds for now.

Short said, "We're looking at a half-mile section and more than likely those repairs will be in the range of $1 million. But before we can determine even that, this testing has to be completed. Some surveying has to be performed." 

Eventually, the state would have to be involved from the aspect of getting the federal funds for the project, he said. 

Chairman Jerry Bishop said he did not have any problem with the suggestion, as he agreed with Aderholt and Short. 

In other action at Monday's meeting, the commission: 

• Heard from County Administrator Robbie Dickerson that the county received its state reimbursement from the June primaries, amounting to $94,908, "which came in handy." The next reimbursement for the runoffs should come in before the end of the current fiscal year on Sept. 31. 

• Heard Dickerson say budget information from department heads is due back on Sept. 4, and meetings will be held with department heads. 

• Heard Dickerson say a second Safety Committee meeting will be held on Sept. 5, with districts becoming involved in that meeting as well. 

• Appointed Richard Crawford and David Box to the East Walker Sewer Board, at the recommendation of the Dora City Council. Crawford fills a seat previously held by George Sides, Jr., while Box fills a position vacated due to the resignation of Gary Thomas. The council recommended Crawford on Aug. 16, while Thomas was recommended by the council on July 12, based on letters from the city. 

• Appointed former Commissioner Bobby Nunnelley to a seat on the Providence Water Authority. An Aug. 15 note to the commission said the chairman of the authority, Tom Pate, resigned on July 11, and that the term would have ended in July 2020. "Gene Cameron is now our chairman, and Harold Martin is a board member and his term will end March 2019. We will be appointing a new board member at our Sept. 11, 2018, meeting," the letter stated.

However, District 1 Commissioner Keith Knight said only the commission can appoint to the authority, as the authority can only make recommendations to the commission. He asked a letter be sent or a phone call be made to the authority noting that fact. District 3 Commissioner Ralph Williams agreed and recommended Nunnelley be appointed. Nunnelley, who was in the audience and lives in Providence, indicated he would serve. 

• Agreed to a number of budget amendments to close out the year, amounting to a total of $10,500, involving the Board of Registrars, the circuit courts and the circuit clerk.