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Commissioners approve new cell phone tower

Rick Patrick - Greene Publishing, Inc.

On the recommendation of the Madison County Planning and Zoning Board, the Madison County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a special exception application to put a new 300 foot tall self support Verizon cell tower on leased land located off of SW 1st Federal Road. When completed, this new tower is expected to greatly improve cell phone coverage in the Madison County area.

In other business during the regular bi-weekly meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 26, the commissioners also approved a new emergency medical services rate schedule as part of the consent agenda. The new approved rates are:

Basic Life Support (BLS) Non-emergent $400

BLS Emergent $475

Advanced Life Support (ALS) Non-emergent $500

ALS Emergent $600

ALS2 $800

Specialty Care $900

Mileage $12

Treated, no transport $75

These prices are within the Medicare pay schedule. Other items approved on the consent agenda included a budget amendment request for the Madison County Development Council and a budget amendment request for a Sheriff's office employee leave payoff in the amount of $35,932.58.

In unfinished business for the commission, the commissioners heard from Lonnie Thigpen, from the county road department, concerning the mowing contract with Keen Forest Management. Thigpen reported that if the county began mowing (in house) the total cost would be an estimated $143,966 or a cost of $27.20 per acre. The current contract with Keen Forest Management costs $89,709.57 or $16.95 per acre. The commission decided to see if there could be a way to increase the frequency of mowing during the wet season when the grass grows faster.

The commissioners then discussed items regarding the Public Works Department. The commissioners approved the sale of the existing solid waste grapple truck to RDK Truck Sales for a price of $15,000. The truck is inoperable with a broken frame. The commission then voted to accept the lowest bid to lease a replacement grapple truck for solid waste. The lease of this grapple truck will be a three year lease with semi-annual payments of $11,635.36 to RDK. The commission also voted to approve the lease of a 2017 Mack MRU613 front end loader waste disposal truck.

In a public hearing for an ordinance providing the disposition of real property, the commissioners voted to replace placing notices on the Courthouse door with placing notices in the newspaper. Notices will continue to be placed on the Courthouse door. The commissioners voted to approve the holiday and regular meeting schedules for calendar year 2017. The commissioners decided to keep the regular scheduled meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 9 a.m., as the meeting room should be ready to use after Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The commissioners passed the sale of timber on two county owned parcels of land; one being at the landfill, the other being the Williams' parcel.

With there being no more business, the meeting was adjourned. The next scheduled meeting of the county commission will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 9 a.m. The meeting will take place in the commission meeting room at the Courthouse Annex; located at 229 SW Pinckney Street, in Madison.

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