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Madison County commissioners heard a plea from a citizen Monday to put more resources toward fighting crime in the county.

Ray Inman talked of thefts in the area around Joy Baptist Church and said he’d like to see the sheriff get support from the commissioners to help fight crime.

“When the sheriff asks for more money for more men, I hope you will consider his request,” he said.

County commission chairman Todd Higdon told Inman that he and the board are ready to help with resources.

“This board will give him what he needs,” he said.

But Higdon said there are hiring shortages in the sheriff’s department and beyond. He said there are vacancies at the sheriff’s office and EMS that can’t be filled due to a lack of applicants.

“Nobody can seem to employ anybody now,” he said.

Commissioners also talked about a trend with young people vandalizing bathrooms and posting it on Tik Tok. They noted that the women’s bathroom at the fair had been vandalized last week. Higdon said “parents need to step up” and report their kids when they engage in such behavior.

WATER MEETING TO BE HELD

In a separate matter, commissioners agreed that they would like to meet with the county industrial authority to discuss establishing priorities on potential water projects. The commissioners have agreed to allocate $2.5 million in federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to infrastructure improvements and are seeking an additional $7.5 million in federal funds from the state. Higdon said he would set up such a meeting.

CDGB GRANT APPROVED

Higdon announced that Madison County has been awarded a $529,676 Community Development Block Grant (CDGB) to tie a water line in the Blacks Creek Church Road/Mize Road area in western Madison County to the county’s main system. The water line will run about 9,200 feet from the Mize Road area to the county’s “60 system” (the term used for its main water system). The Mize Road system is currently served by the City of Commerce.

LIBRARY REPORT GIVEN

The board heard a quarterly report from library director Jennifer Ivey, who noted that the library returned to pre-covid hours in May. Commissioner Dennis Adams thanked Ivey for giving regular reports to the board and said it would be helpful for other departments do the same. Ivey was thanked for her work by both BOC members and library board members for her work at the library. The commissioners also approved local author Teri Drake-Floyd to the county library board.

LAND SOLD TO VFDS

Madison County commissioners received and approved $1 bids from the Danielsville and Collins Volunteer Fire Departments to own the land beneath their structures. The sale means that the departments can use the land and structures as collateral for loans on equipment.

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK

Higdon read a proclamation recognizing Oct. 3-9 as “Mental Health Awareness Week.” He said everyone knows someone with a mental health issue and he said it’s an issue that needs attention and support for the local Advantage Behavioral Systems, which helps those with mental health needs.

CHANDLER THANKS LIONS CLUB

Commissioner Terry Chandler thanked the Comer Lions Club for the job they did putting on the fair last week. He noted that they did a “phenomenal job every night” with the agricultural programs, “as good as you find anywhere.”

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