Etowah County Commissioners have officially approved a budget of $ 21,857,846 for fiscal year 2022. This budget, discussed in detail during last week’s working session, includes an increase for sheriff’s department employees. and no increase in health care costs for county employees.

The budget also had some slight changes before final approval. The approved changes allowed for an increase in the capital improvement fund for repairs and maintenance of buildings and land improvements and the transfer of operating funds to the general fund. The general fund also saw some increase in the transfer to the capital improvement fund, but also a decrease in the general fund for repairs and maintenance.

The general fund also saw another change, increasing it by $ 881,279 due to the remaining balance of a general bank loan. This loan was used to pay for the new Etowah County Board of Education building, whose winning bid was also approved at the Hudak Construction meeting at a cost of $ 783,000.

“We received two offers on the project and both were from local companies,” said CAO Shane Ellison, “it’s always nice to be able to work locally on projects like these. “

They also approved the renewal of the “Beer and Wine Tax Revenue Administration Tax Revenue Improvement Agreement” with AVENU for the next three years.

Two Attalla companies, Robyns Gardens and High Country Cellars, have applied for licenses to sell wine at the Alabama Wine Festival, requiring a separate license for this event in accordance with ABC guidelines. With the event scheduled for October 16, the commissioners said there was enough time between now and the event to have the first reading at the current meeting and could be approved on October 5 instead of giving up. at first reading in favor of final approval today.

Ellison also issued two proclamations on behalf of the commissioners. The first went to several members of the community, including current Commissioners Johnny and Jaime Grant, for their work delivering supplies and helping victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks 20 years ago.

Other community members honored in the proclamation include Brantley Bishop, Scott Cardwell, Chris Crisler, Glenn Cline, Tim Dial, Jimmie and Todd Entrekin, Connie, Kevin and Robin Grant, Kevin Hassel, Stephen Hooks, Larry Howard, Woody Johnson, Micheal Jones, Fred Lasseter, Donyale Richard, Jason Rogers, Jeremy Walker and Tommy Wigginton.

“On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 innocent Americans were senselessly killed in terrorist attacks,” said Ellison, “Salvage workers at the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office made the worst of the situation. The town of Altoona, Hokes Bluff and Gadsden were already scheduled to provide assistance, which included the removal, transportation and identification of human remains, item security, securing semi-trailers, delivery of medical supplies. and escorting victims, family members and office workers.

The second proclamation was presented to Revenue Commissioner Linda Barrett-Vaughn in honor of her retirement and “loyal service” to the county. Vaughn worked for the county for 29 years and will retire this month.

“Thank you all today for having the privilege of serving Etowah County as the Revenue Commissioner,” she said, “I walked in hesitantly, but God kept opening doors and people kept coming into my life and encouraging me to do so. I look forward to my retirement, but thank you for all your friendship.

The commissioners also renewed the “East Central Alabama Highway Safety Office – Traffic Enforcement Agreement”. This agreement allows the county to receive funding from the ECAHSO grant, which allows it to pay officers who work overtime and on holidays such as Memorial Day or Labor Day.

They also agreed to work alongside Alabama State University in county redistribution efforts at a cost not to exceed $ 5,000. The agreement between the county and the DEC Mental Health Center to provide salary and benefits to an estate agent, which will be split between the two for $ 15,000 each.

The meeting ended with the entry of the commissioners into an executive session, where no further action was taken.

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