Engineer presents Highway Department Budget

Coffee County Engineer Marty Lentz presented the budgets for the county’s Engineering Department, Highway Department, 3-R projects and Maintenance Department to the Coffee County Commission at its regular meeting on Aug. 12.

The presentation took place after a short recess following the other business on the agenda.

Highway Department

Lentz said the Highway Department is expected to gain $1.13 million from the seven cent gas tax.

He noted that $493,379 will be reimbursed to the county from the state for the county’s work on County Road 495 in the Fiscal Year 2019. He said that he underestimated the reimbursement when he budgeted just under $300,000 for it.

Lentz said the current budget allows for the department to buy two back-wing mowers and sell two each year.

He said in the FY 2019 year, two of the mowers sold for over $10,836 total.

Commission Chairman Dean Smith said he wouldn’t “keep them any longer than you have to” with how well the mowers are selling.

Lentz said he is proposing selling two back-wing mowers, a 2010 John Deere 7130 with a mow trim and two 1994 Caterpillar 936 rear loaders in the Fiscal Year 2020.

Lentz the general revenue line was over $100,000 even though only $3,000 was budgeted. The extra revenue comes from the building of the parking lot for the Wiregrass Rehabilitation Center and the parking lot at the Coffee County Courthouse in Enterprise. He noted that the money from the courthouse had not been received yet but when it was that it would fall under that line item.

“We ain’t got a check yet?” Commission Jim Thompson said.

“We give them three years and they still don’t pay us,” Commissioner Kim Ellis said.

County Administrator Rod Morgan assured the commission that he had contacted the city and the check would be out shortly.

“I thought they’re broke” commissioner Al Britt said.

“I wasn’t going to say this out loud but there are two media guys sitting behind y’all,” Thompson said. “Y’all are going to be quoted in the paper.”

The group of commissioners laughed and continued the budget hearing.

Letnz said that the county had received just over $27,000 from Houston County for its help removing limbs, trees and debris from Hurricane Michael.

He said that all the salaries for the FY 2020 year included a two and a half percent COLA increase.

He requested the purchase of two back-wing motors, a dedicated trailer for the skid steer, a six-way bulldozer blade, two rear loaders and two boom mowers and updated systems for the herbicide trucks.

He noted that all the Highway Department’s debt has been paid off.

Engineering Department

Lentz budgeted $165,000 revenue from the motor vehicle license base and $17,000 in revenue from the driver’s license fees.

He said that the reimbursement for the county engineer and county assistant engineer salary increased to $134,852 due to the Rebuild Alabama Law.

He said he budgeted $45,000 for reimbursements from the state for construction and inspection.

The salaries for the Engineering Department also include the two and a half percent COLA increase.

He said the office equipment budget was increased to $2,500 to accommodate the rental fee for the copier in the office.

Lentz said that the $16,500 for small equipment would include the annual subscriptions for all engineering services as well as replacing three computers.

3-R Projects

The account received $20,706 reimbursement from the state for an audit of a project in which it was determined the county paid too much into the 20 percent match.

The rest of the revenue comes from a variety of taxes and fees that Lentz did not dive into.

The resurfacing of County Road 110 is proposed under the 3-R account, which is budgeted at $268,000.

Lentz said $166,000 is budgeted for the county’s part in the industrial access project for the Ben E. Keith distribution center.

Maintenance Department

Lentz said that the Maintenance Department is different from the other budgets because it has no revenues.

The Maintenance Department salaries and wages are budgeted with a two and a half percent COLA increase.

He said that he’s budgeting $3,000 for new windows and doors for the Maintenance Department building.

He proposed buying a mini excavator and a utility-body truck for the department.

The general budget will be presented at the next commission meeting on Aug. 26 at 9 a.m. at the government complex in New Brockton. The meeting is open to the public.

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