Cleburne Commission considers $3K land deal to get road improvement project on track
by Laura Camper
news@cleburnenews.com
Jan 06, 2014 | 2175 views |  0 comments | 61 61 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At a work session Monday, the Cleburne County Commission heard that it may have to purchase some property along County Road 10 to continue its road improvement project there.

County Administrator Steve Swafford told commission members that along a portion of the road bordered by Ranburne-resident Carolyn Hanson’s property, the right-of-way hasn’t been deeded to the county.

The county worked out a proposal to purchase the property for $3,000, Swafford said.

“It’s not like we’re taking advantage,” Swafford said. “That’s just what you’d expect to pay for that amount of property based on what surrounding property would sell for.”

However, Hanson said she is not happy with the agreement. When asked about whether the deal was finalized, she referred questions to her daughter who declined to comment.

The county has been working with property owners along a 4-mile stretch of the road beginning at Alabama 46 and ending at County Road 51, to remove fences, mailboxes and other property on the county right-of-way. County officials plan to use federal dollars distributed by the Alabama Department of Transportation to widen, improve and repave the road. But ALDOT requires that the right-of-way, measured 40 feet from the middle of the road to either side, be cleared of all encroachments before the project begins, according to county administrators.

Hanson, who was not at the meeting, said earlier on Monday that she wasn’t happy with the deal. The property in question is less than a mile long, but a fence, which she would have to move back at least 5 feet, confines cattle along the entire area.

She said there’s no way $3,000 will cover the cost of moving the fence.

She already moved an electric fence that ran along the other side of the road, but she wasn’t surprised by that request, she said.

“I could see that because it was so close to the road,” Hanson said.

But on the property in question, she doesn’t understand the need, she added.

“It’s bull crap,” Hanson said.

The $3,000 price would be considered part of the project cost and would be paid out of the funding received for the project, said Ryan Robertson, chairman of the commission.

In other business the commission:

-Heard that the Association of County Commissions of Alabama Liability Self-Insurance Fund has agreed to give the county a financial incentive if it renews its contract now rather than waiting until the contract expires on Jan. 1, 2015. Swafford recommended the commission renew the contract.

-Heard that Mike Calvert of the Ranburne Parks and Recreation Department requested the county assist the city in purchasing scoreboards for its recreational fields. The cost is still being negotiated, Swafford said. Commissioners Laura Cobb and Emmett Owen suggested Ranburne look into a deal with Coca Cola or Pepsi.

“You have to purchase their products,” Cobb said. “A lot of times, they’ll pay for the scoreboard.”

-Discussed improvements in the garbage collection commissioners would like to see before renewing the contract with Solid Waste Removal, which expires in November. The commissioners would like to see quicker delivery of garbage cans to residents, more consistent pick up along the county roads and better treatment of the garbage cans by the company’s workers, they said.

Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.

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