Cleburne County Commission

Coroner Adam Downs talks to the Cleburne County Commission on Monday at the Mountain Center (Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)

HEFLIN — The Cleburne County Commission voted unanimously Monday to establish a solid waste convenience center for county residents.

The facility — which will be open one week per month —  will be on county property near the county’s jail and barn on Lambert Drive in Heflin.

The commission authorized the transfer of $50,000 from the solid waste collection fund to the county engineer, Lee Estes, to get the center up and running.

The $50,000 will pay work including the operating plan, clearing of land, excavation, retaining wall, gravel, signs, fencing and a portable building, according to Estes.

The monthly operating expenses, according to Estes, will be $3,000, including an employee, utilities, phone and trash bins.

The center will eventually replace its two annual clean-up days, which according to Laura Cobb only benefit a few people.

Cobb said that the two countywide clean-up days, during which trash bins are placed throughout the county, are inconvenient for residents due to conflicts such as vacations or other obligations.

“I’m happy because that is what my goal has been from day one, to get the convenience center where people can go to it,” Cobb said.

The center will be free to current Cleburne County residential garbage service customers; non-customers must provide proof of residency and will be charged a set fee for a standard truck and/or trailer.

Items not accepted will include wood, construction debris, trees and branches, concrete, leaves, soil, household garbage, hazardous materials and scrapped vehicles, however residential scrap tires will be accepted.

Estes said he did not know when the convenience center will be open but said a date will be announced in the future.

The commission also voted unanimously to distribute $20,000 of tobacco tax money evenly among the four county commissioners for discretionary use.

The tobacco tax fund beginning balance for 2019 was more than previously anticipated.

The commission also passed its consent agenda with the following resolutions.

— Appointed deputy coroners Clint Cochran, Ryan Mitchell and Paul Padgett, who must file with the judge of probate.

— Hold a public hearing to take place at the February commission meeting to consider closing County Roads 59, 439, 263 and a portion within the boundaries of Hancock Timber land of County Road 450. The landowner and Hancock Timber have requested that the roads be closed.

Also, newly appointed Cleburne County Coroner Adam Downs spoke to the commission about the coroner’s budget.

Downs requested a $5,175 increase in the budget to cover various expenses, including payments for the deputy coroners, maintenance and fuel for the donated coroner’s vehicle, uniform shirts, badges, safety items and body bags.

At last last week’s work session the coroner’s budget was characterized as a “bare bones” by Kim Brown, Cleburne County’s chief financial officer. The current coroner’s budget of $17,773 includes no money for travel, gas, uniforms or training.

The commission will hash out the coroner’s request at next month’s work session.

​Staff writer Bill Wilson: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @bwilson_star.