Wiggins, Stewart reappointed as Commission leaders

Published 6:20 pm Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Escambia County Commissioners met in their final gathering for 2021 on Monday. During the meeting, the commissioners voted in favor of reappointing Raymond Wiggins as the chairman of the group and Scottie Stewart as vice-chair.

“I appreciate your confidence in me,” Wiggins said. “I do the best I can and know that we work as a team. I appreciate the opportunity to serve as chairman.”

In other business, the commission:

• approved the appointment of Linda Williamson to the Board of Equalization for the county;

• approved the appointment of Tony Sanks to the Escambia County Health Care Authority to be effective Jan. 1, 2022. Sanks’ appointment will provide a replacement for Don Ward who term will expire on Dec. 31, 2021;

• approved the disposition of surplus equipment and vehicles in the road department.

Also during Monday’s meeting, the commissioners heard comments from residents and land owners in the Ewing Lane area in the Atmore/Poarch area.

Attorney Charles Godwin was on hand to assist in the discussion that included a request for resurfacing the roadway or otherwise address the problems on the road.

“We own three acres that front on Ewing Lane,” Godwin said. “It is hard for us to get to our property, Please put us on your list and consider it (repaving) as soon as possible.”

Castillo Towing is a business located on Ewing Lane and employee Bryant Colby said the condition of the roadway has made doing some parts of their business difficult.

“The road is in very bad condition,” Colby said. “There are lots of potholes. We’ve filled in some because they were so bad. We used gravel in those potholes. It needs paving badly.”

Ewing Lane is a roadway that runs parallel to the off-ramp of I-65 at Jack Springs Road in the Poarch area. The roadway is less than one mile in length.

Eddie Tullis, a retired member of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Council, said although he does not speak for the Tribe, he has seen problems on the road with property owned by the Tribe over the years.

“I am retired, but I did see problems while I was in office,” Tullis said. “There is a facility there that was being used as a centralized purchasing warehouse. We had so many problems and complaints from people who delivered to our warehouse that we tried to keep the pot holes filled. I know that the Tribe is not getting full use of the facility since the road us unable to accommodate traffic. We have a 65,000 square foot facility there and are unable to get full use of it. An upgrade to Ewing Lane would be appreciated by the citizens in the area.”

Commissioner Karean Reynolds, who is the commissioner for the area in which Ewing Lane is situated, said the matter will be addressed.

“We will have our people out there and see what we can do to get that in better condition,” Reynolds said. “We will see what we can do.”

County Engineer Bill Bridges said the citizens and landowners there should not have to take care of the potholes on their own.

“You shouldn’t have to do anything to that road,” Bridges said. “Anytime you need to call us and we will get things patched up and smoother out there for ya’ll. And the commission will look at that for resurfacing.”

Wiggins said the county will be working to help resolve the issues as much as possible for Ewing Lane traffic.

“We will get those potholes fixed,” Wiggins said. “And we will take a look at it and see about getting that paved as soon as possible.”