After spending the last week on the beach in south Alabama with the family, I have returned just in time to enjoy a snowy Easter. Upon my return to the courthouse, I noticed that the screen saver picture on my desktop had updated to a gorgeous sunset on a beach somewhere. Talk about adding insult to injury!
A few items of interest that the Commission has been working on are below.
• I am pleased to announce that after nearly three years of submitting and resubmitting documentation, going through an Office of the Inspector General (OIG) audit, and enduring countless meetings with countless agencies along with various other activities, we have begun to receive the balance of our reimbursement from FEMA. I am so proud of the yeoman’s work performed by County staff in this effort. Again, success was achieved through teamwork and a dogged determination to get the job done. We have received an initial deposit of $77,009.37 and there is a second deposit of $621,462.65 scheduled in the next few days. Additional large deposits for our bridge projects are being processed as well. Our ability to withstand the financial blow of this disaster without depleting our reserves is a testament to the financial stability of this County.
• The next time you have your 2017 real and personal property tax bill in hand, take a look at it and see how much you paid to the county road tax. I suspect that the answer for many residential taxpayers will be less than $100. How much buying power does $100 generate? At today’s prices, your contribution will pay for materials for a 20’ wide piece of asphalt that is just over 2” long. That’s right, I said inches. That same $100, if applied to gravel, provides enough material to cover a 20’ wide road for 45.5’ which is approximately the distance from one side of your driveway to the mailbox on the other side. Keep in mind that this only covers material and not equipment, wages, maintenance, etc. The purpose of this information is to demonstrate the importance of a diverse tax base. Without a diverse mix of residential, agricultural, and commercial taxpayers, all County functions, particularly road maintenance, would be a challenge. The commercial construction boom that started in 2017, coupled with continued strong residential growth, will provide the building blocks for future success.
That’s all I have time for now. As always, call, e-mail or stop by the Courthouse if you have questions. Until next week…