By Donna Thornton/News Editor
Etowah County District 1 Commissioner Joey Statum ended his year of serving as Etowah County Commission President with words of thanks to his fellow commissioners, county employees and the people of Etowah County.
“I appreciate this opportunity to serve,” Statum said, adding that it had been a humbling experience.
A resolution presented to Statum highlighted some of the many accomplishments during his tenure as president:
Maintained a balanced budget without having to dip into the reserves and maintained the county’s A-Plus credit rating with Standard & Poor’s;
Supported the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (ATRIP) which will fund local road and bridge projects;
Initiated the necessary steps to build an access road on the Little Canoe Creek Industrial Park property and awarded a contract to replace the DDC control system at the courthouse which will save on energy usage and the cost of utilities;
Sold the surplus property at the old Sardis shop with plans to use that money to make improvements at the Attalla shop;
Authorized the grant to provide school resource officers through the sheriff’s department in the Etowah County Schools and supported polling place changes and consolidations to be in compliance with the state law which will reduce the costs associated with elections;
Donated the Hokes Bluff Ferry property to the City of Hokes Bluff to be used by the community;
Made changes on property insurance and to the employee disability insurance that allowed the county to recognize an annual savings;
Continued the buyback program which provided extra cash for employees and also gave the employees a 2.5 percent cost-of-living raise;
Received zero findings on audit from the public examiners.
Statum said the accomplishments listed were those of the entire commission.
Statum’s fellow commissioners recognized him for his service and a job well-done.
Commissioner Tim Choate expressed appreciation for the way Statum ends meetings, asking if “all minds (are) clear,” and for the fact that Statum always has a smile on his face.
Commissioner Jeff Overstreet, who served as president in the year preceding Statum, said he knew from experience the challenge of serving as president while working a full time job.
“It means a lot of weekends (working) and a lot of late nights,” Overstreet said, “and a lot of emails.”
Commissioner Carolyn Parker takes over as president of the commission for 2014.