Neither item was initially on the agenda Monday, but both were added at the last minute.
If awarded, the grant would be administered by the East Alabama Regional Planning Commission. There is a 20 percent match, including in kind services. The motion to seek the grant specifies that no county money will be used.
“I said I would never vote for anything other than turning this property over to Lincoln, but I’ll vote yes on this,” Commission Chairman Jimmy Roberson said.
The motion was made by Commissioner Jackie Swinford and seconded by Commissioner Tony Haynes.
The match would be provided either by in kind services or revenue from vendors inside the area.
Haynes then made a motion to appoint Dante Whittaker to a two year term on the Coosa Valley Recreational Authority, and Andy McWilliams to a four year term
Whittaker and McWilliams will join Chuck Roberts and Joe Ballew, who were appointed by the Talladega City Council. Lincoln City Council appointed Joey Cooper and Gary Steed to the board Tuesday evening.
The one appointment remaining is by the state legislative delegation.
Since the appointees would be able to establish a quorum, Roberson asked that they should be present at the next commission meeting to accept the deed to the property.
Originally a storage facility for a munitions works, the area has belonged to the federal government for most of the time since World War II. It was released to Talladega County on the condition that it be converted to some public recreational usage. The commission held the deed for five years but never came up with an acceptable use.
If the grant is awarded, it will be turned over to the board, according to Swinford.
The cities of Talladega and Lincoln and the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame all submitted plans to the park service, with Lincoln ultimately winning out. The federal government has threatened to sue the commission if the deed is not turned over to Lincoln, but recently Mayor Lew Watson has said that it was always intended as a regional project.
The state Attorney General’s Office declined to issue an opinion on whether or not the property could be turned over to the board created by the state legislature during its last session.
Also Tuesday, the commission:
• Heard a presentation from Thelma Dundy of Isaiah House in Talladega, who is looking for grant funding to help hire permanent employees and buy office equipment. The food and clothing ministry is supported by 32 local churches and an appropriation from the Talladega City Council.
• Heard a presentation from Antique Talladega Executive Director Tom Wofford regarding the children’s theater program and the effort to restore the Ritz Theater as a working movie house as well as a live performance venue. He asked the commission for an appropriation for the latter project, and the request will taken up at a later date.
• Tabled discussion of a water project for the Talladega County Volunteer Fire Department Association.
• Clarified that the appointment of Georgia Christian to the Cheaha Mental Health Board expired in 2011, and the appointment of George Dye expired in 2013.
• Renewed a parcel maintenance agreement with Tri-State Consulting for the fourth year in a row.
• Awarded the bid for VHF repeater equipment for local law enforcement agencies to McCord Communications, which submitted the low bid.
• Approved a $100,000 U.S. Department of Justice grant to technological updates for local law enforcement.
• Opened a single bid for a mobile command center, and authorized Emergency Management Agency Director Nelson Bates to negotiate.
• Voted to approve, pending attorney approval, an agreement with the city of Talladega that would cover part of Bates’ salary.
• Approved a $13,000 grant, with no match, from the state Department of Homeland Security for Community Emergency Response Teams.
• Approved a $55,000 grant to purchase emergency responder equipment.
• Agreed to authorize Bates and County Engineer Tim Markert to seek requests for proposal for contract storm damage cleanup. If the county uses contractors, the cost can be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. County workers can only be reimbursed by FEMA for the first 24 hours.
• Tabled bids for centerline and edge line paint stripes.
• Approved a proclamation declaring pro bono week at the request of the state and local bar associations.
• Unanimously approved conferences, personnel actions and expenditures as submitted.
• Announced that the next commission meeting will be Oct. 26 at 6 p.m.
• Announced that there will be a ceremony today at 10 a.m. honoring the veterans that served on the USS Talladega starting at 10 a.m.
• Announced there will be an open house at the new EMA/E911 Building Oct. 21.