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Commission conducts regular meeting

After nearly two and half months without meetings, the Escambia County commission met on June 8 at the Escambia County Courthouse.
Following health guidelines, the meeting was conducted in room 105 of the courthouse, allowing a space for the proper 6 ft. distancing to occur.
At the beginning of the meeting, all minutes from Feb., March 9, and March 17 were approved. In new business, the speed limit for Bristol Lane was changed. “We had a petition signed by the majority of the residents to move the speed limit to 10 mph,” said Commissioner Raymond Wiggins. Next a subdivision plot for Stokley Plantation was approved.
Following these approvals, the commission considered a resolution regarding local legislation for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.
Before any action was taken, Chairman Karean Reynolds called on Sheriff Heath Jackson to share more.
“As of right now any property brought in, seized, or found over the years, everything we do to try to return it at some point we just don’t get anywhere. We have surplus property that is sitting back there, some of it has been there for over 20 years and it continues to accumulate,” said Jackson.
With the surplus, Jackson said the office could auction off the items.
“What we have done is we’ve given it to y’all to enter into a local bill to have sent up that will give the sheriff the authority that these seized items or found items that have been left over for so long, we can turn around and auction them off and sell them,” he said.
Included in the list of items is a collection of firearms and with the approved legislation, the office hopes to sell these as well. “Also firearms, we have a large amount of firearms that have been seized over a 30-40 year period that are just sitting there. So what we want to do is we want to get this local bill passed that gives us the authority to sell those guns or trade them in to a FFL or Federal Firearms License to be able to dispose of them,” explained Jackson.
Jackson shared that other sheriff offices are taking this action across the state.
He said, “This is not something that Escambia County has just decided to do. There are other Sheriff offices around the state that are doing it. We are just trying to catch up with what every body else is doing and that is what we have been trying to do for the past 17 months— is get up to speed with the other agencies and follow in step with what they are doing.”
Jackson said that the overall main goal is to free up funds. “Number 1 to take some burden off the county taxpayers that are having to pay to keep this stuff stored and also put a little bit of money back in the pot to reimburse the sheriff’s office for the work we have had to do to house it,” he said.
The commission approved the action.
In other new business, the commission appointed Commissioner Raymond Wiggins to represent the county on the Association of County Commissions of Alabama committee.
“This is a committee with the Association County Commission of Alabama. They deal specifically with legislation, the association will seek to promote in the next session. It is a 67 member committee and each county has 1 appointment,” said County Administrator Tony Sanks.
Finally, the commission considered the resolution regarding the state of emergency. “Back on March 17, our last commission meeting, we entered into a state of emergency, which gave the county administrator, myself, and Commissioner Smith the power to make decisions regarding the commission,” said Reynolds.
With the courthouse opening again and regular meetings for the commission scheduled, Sanks said that the order is no longer needed. “That authority was given to execute agreements, documents, whatever needed to be done in order to continue government in the state of emergency. Hopefully now we will be in a regular routine of meeting together again; so any documents will be approved in these commission meetings,” said Sanks.
The next meeting will be held on June 23, at 9 a.m.