Ohatchee benefits from surplus equipment program
by Brian Anderson
banderson@annistonstar.com
Jan 15, 2013 | 3869 views |  0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OHATCHEE — Enrollment last month in a federal surplus program has already netted Ohatchee some much-needed equipment.

At Tuesday night’s town council meeting work session, Ohatchee Mayor Steve Baswell said that since December, when it approved participation in the Department of Defense’s Law Enforcement Surplus Office program, the council has been able to acquire a dump truck, a Humvee for the Police Department and two generators.

“We were pleasantly surprised,” Baswell said of the amount of equipment they’d received through the program in just the first month. “This is going to be stuff we can use.”

Baswell said the generators in particular are important pieces of equipment for the town that still has several houses using a pump water system. In case of a mass power outage, Baswell said, the generators will ensure water is still getting to the houses on the outskirts of town.

The program gives surplus gear to towns that need it on a first come, first serve basis at no cost, but municipalities are responsible for transportation.

“You can’t beat the price on what we’re getting folks,” Baswell said. “This is some quality merchandise.”

At the regular meeting, James Edgar of Edgar and Associates presented the council with its 2012 audit report. Edgar said the report was “materially correct,” and reported no issues or problems with compliance. Edgar said the report had a quick three-month turnaround thanks to the cooperative town hall staff.

The only other item on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting was a brief report by the council about possible road improvements. No action was taken, but the council reviewed a list of roads in the town that might need patching or resurfacing work — about a tenth of a mile in all out of the city’s 20 miles of road.

Baswell said before the council can take action on the roads, he needs to sit down with the Calhoun County engineer to figure out if some of the roads are Ohatchee’s or the county’s responsibility.

“We need to get something in writing, so future generations of council members and county employees know,” he said. “And that way if people call us about roads, it’s not like neither one of us sounds like we know what’s what.”

Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.

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