The Coffee County Commission recognized students in the Career and Technical Education programs at all five high schools on Monday.

Commission Chairman Dean Smith read a proclamation declaring February Career and Technical Education Month in the county, but he also praised the students.

“Always like to see young men and women who realize they’re about to become adults and need a career and an education,” Smith said. “Combining what I call a ‘hands-on’ career is a good thing. It will benefit you in the future.”

Student representatives were Brycen Miller of Enterprise, Irina Lowery of Zion Chapel, Tre Boland of New Brockton, Madison Holley of Kinston and Jace Hudson of Elba.

Smith noted that skilled and well-trained workers are always in demand from businesses and industry.

“We hear that from everybody that we try to recruit,” Smith told the students. “You’re a big part of making Coffee County grow, your willingness to look at a skill and your formal education. I applaud you for that. It’s a great choice.”

County Administrator Rod Morgan said the commission simply wanted to recognize the program.

“Career Tech doesn’t always get recognized like some of the other programs,” Morgan said. “I think it’s important to recognize those kids and let them know that what they’re doing is important. There’s a skills gap in Alabama, as in most states. These are the students you hope will fill that gap in the future.

“When you look at it, a lot of kids who choose the Career Tech path are in the workforce quicker — because a lot of times that’s a two-year program — and with less or no debt. While an academic route certainly is a good choice, this is, too. What we wanted to do is recognize not just the students but the teachers, the faculty, the staff and the parents, too.”

In other business:

Heard an update and a thank you from B.J. Cardwell with the Mobile Food Bank.

Gave permission to surplus one of the sheriff’s vehicles and donate it to the city of Elba, which will use it.

Permitted the purchase of three Tahoe’s for the sheriff’s department in this calendar year. Morgan noted this is the last year of the current Tahoe model and a price increase is expected next week. Next year, the department will cut its request to just one new vehicle.

Agreed to exchange a voting location from the Elba Rec Center to the Church of Christ in Elba at 715 N. Troy Highway.

Morgan added that registrars will be notifying affected voters, the change will be on the county’s website and signs will be prominent letting voters know to go to the Church of Christ in Elba instead of the Rec Center.

Approved County Engineer Marty Lentz’s request to enter into a sales agreement with J.M.Wood Auction Company for the sale of six county dump trucks. J.M. Wood guaranteed a price of $150,500 for each of the six trucks.

Approved Lentz’s request to sell a wheel loader on Wood’s guaranteed price on the loader wasn’t high enough, so the county will sell it on

Lentz also said that the resurfacing of County Road 200 has begun and should proceed for the remainder of the week.

Environmental Services official Mike Thornton was given permission to surplus out and sell on two 2007 rolloff trucks, one 2014 Polaris Ranger, one 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup; and one 2008 compactor.

Grant Lyons, Coffee County EMA deputy director, reported the county is offering an active shooter course at Enterprise State Community College at 6 p.m. on Feb. 18.

He also said Coffee County will host Instant Commands ICS 300 and 400 courses that are taught in person by the Alabama Fire College.

“It’s been years since we offered it here in Coffee County and we’re getting to host it,” Lyons said. “It’s great for law enforcement, fire and EMS to understand how to work together on major incidents. Only 24 slots were and we have filled it. There is a waiting list. It’s a week-long course and we’ll go over incident management and how to manage expanding incidents.”

County Agent Gavin Mauldin said the county complex will have a professional landscaping class on Thursday and Friday.

“Thursday will cover low-voltage lighting and irrigation installation,” Mauldin said. “Friday will be study and exam review for the test you have to take to start a landscaping business in Alabama.”

On Saturday, Feb. 22, Mauldin said the county will partner with Elba Parks & Rec for a community healthy day from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Bounce houses and a rock climbing wall should excite the kids. The county will have cooking demos and nutrition education in the senior citizens building as part of the coffee shop downtown.

Election registrar Sarah Chapman reminded the commission that the primary election is Tuesday, March 3. The voter registration cutoff date is Feb. 17. Absentee voting cutoff date is Feb. 27.

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