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County commission swears in

With a swearing-in ceremony Wednesday, it’s official. The new Franklin County Commission is ready to serve.

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The commission boasts returning commissioners Rayburn Massey and Chris Wallace, as well as interim commissioner Jason Miller, who for the past several months had been serving in the role as appointed by Gov. Robert Bentley, following the passing of Commissioner Wyman Pounders. New to the commission is David Hester, who takes what was formerly Don Hastings’ seat.

Following the swearing-in performed by Chairman and Probate Judge Barry Moore, the commission held its organizational meeting to open the term.

In the matter of designating a chairman pro tempore to serve as chairman at any time of Moore’s absence, the commission voted unanimously to give each commissioner one year of their four-year terms as pro tem, with Wallace serving the first year.

The commission also approved the following:

  • Payment for ATRIP invoices.
  • To declare a Ford Explorer and chip spreader in the highway department as surplus.
  • To authorize the chairman to enter into an agreement with Valley State Bank for a five-year loan of $245,000 at 1.74 percent for a dumpster truck for the solid waste department, which was a budgeted expenditure, Moore said.
  • To continue the same meeting schedule: work session second Mondays at 5 p.m. and meeting third Mondays at 8:30 a.m.
  • Proclamation for Farm-City Week.
  • New annual leave and sick leave policy for the highway and solid waste departments.
  • The hiring of four corrections officers/dispatchers in the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

The commission also took a moment to look ahead – more than a year ahead – as Franklin County Archives Director Chris Ozbirn presented the wording she has been drafting for the historical marker the county will acquire for the bicentennial.

The marker will celebrate the 200th birthday of Franklin County as well as the state of Alabama.

Ozbirn said the marker, if approved by the historical association, will take nearly six months to come in. “Sometimes they will reject the first one, and you have to do it again,” she said. The marker will cost between $2,000 and $2,600, plus a $100 insurance-type fee. The marker will be installed at the archives, with a planned unveiling date of Feb. 6, 2018 – the exact day of the county’s bicentennial.

As the new commission gets to work, Miller urged county residents to “get behind us, whether you supported us or not, and let’s move Franklin County forward.” Massey echoed his sentiments. “I’m excited,” he added. “I think we’ll be a great team.”

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