HEFLIN — The Cleburne County Commission discussed a number of topics Monday during its work session, including a request from the new coroner, Adam Downs, who wants to have three deputy coroners when he takes office.
Downs, who was not present at the work session, takes office Jan. 14 and has also requested badges for the deputy coroners according to Kim Brown, Cleburne County’s chief financial officer. The badges the current deputy coroners use are name specific and can’t be reused Brown said.
Commissioner Terry Hendrix was against purchasing new badges for the deputy coroners.
“OK, I’m going to say right now, I’m for no badges,” Hendrix said.
Brown said that Downs is seeking compensation for his deputy coroners — in the past deputy coroners received $50 per call, up to $900 for the budget year; current deputy coroners receive no compensation when they go out on calls.
Brown said that Downs will be at next week’s commission meeting to address the commission about the coroner’s budget, which she calls “bare bones.”
The current coroner’s budget contains no money for travel, gas or training according to Brown.
The commission also discussed closing a number of county roads at the request of the land owners and Hancock Timber.
According to Cleburne County engineer Lee Estes, the roads are not now maintained by the county and include County Road 450, County Road 69, County Road 263 and County Road 439. These roads are north of County Road 66.
Commissioner Laura Cobb said it would be a good idea if the roads were closed due to illegal dumping on the remote roads.
Cobb also expressed her concerns over older residents on fixed incomes who are losing their garbage service exemptions when they open a savings account to put money away for winter heating bills.
The commission discussed the state law which stipulates that in order to receive an exemption for garbage service a person can’t have a savings account.
“It’s sad that that disqualifies that person,” Cobb said.
Cobb hopes an amendment can be drafted to change the law, which she says punishes the residents for thinking ahead; she said she will consult the county attorney, Jason Odom.
The next meeting will be next at 5 p.m. Monday at the Mountain Center in Heflin.