The Coffee County Commission has entered into a memorandum of understanding with KBI Industries, which has expressed an interest in leasing the tire processing facility.

The commission has been exploring options for the facility, which was opened in 2013 behind an Alabama Department of Environmental Management grant worth up to $5.8 million.

“As everyone knows, we’ve had to reduce the operations there, just reduce the output because the options for the use of tire shreds or chips were getting limited,” County Administrator Rod Morgan said.

“We have identified a potential partner. KBI Industries has expressed an interest in potentially leasing that facility and has asked for a memorandum of understanding to proceed with that. This is not the actual lease of the facility itself, but it does set forth the parameters that the commission would consider for that.”

The resolution approving the memorandum of understanding with KBI Industries was passed unanimously. It was part of the commission’s scheduled Monday meeting, which was dominated by updates on COVID-19 and the county’s preparedness.

In other business, the commission:

Authorized an easement to Covington Electric as it relates to the Ben E. Keith project. The company needs to extend down Highway 84 and cross the street to reach the Ben. E. Keith site.

Reappointed Jerry Goodson and Gloria Abernathy to the Coffee County Department of Human Resources Board, and also appointed Jan Largess to one of two open Board seats.

Entered into an agreement on the recommendation of County Engineer Marty Lentz with the Alabama Department of Transportation on upcoming projects. One is for intersection improvements at Alabama Highway 167 at the intersection of County Road 239 and County Road 113.

The other is for agreements for the prime, pave and traffic stripe of Medley Road in New Brockton. Lentz said this was a three-part agreement with the state, the town and the county. Also, the prime and pave of County Road 540 is included in this agreement.

Morgan announced the County Extension office is closed until further notice. County Agent Gavin Mauldin remains available by phone, text or email at 200-5487, or gpm0006@aces.edu.

Registrars reminded voters that the primary runoff election will be July 14. The deadline for absentee ballots is July 9 and the last day to deliver an absentee ballot is July 13.

“We have plenty of time, so there is no need in the next few weeks to get out and try to cast an absentee ballot,” Morgan said after announcing limited in-person access in county buildings.

District 6 Commissioner Jim Thompson sought a waiver on a fee to the Farm Center for the Wiregrass Men of Valor, a non-denominational group of men from the Wiregrass who are going to try to meet monthly.

“We, as a commission, decided we’d like to waive the fee for their first four dates,” Thompson said. “We’ll look at it once they get going. They don’t know when they’ll get to start with all that’s going on.”

District 5 Commissioner Jimmy Jones urged citizens to follow the guidelines they’ve been given and remain safe throughout this crisis they’re going through.

District 7 Commissioner Tom Grimsley said looking forward is a must.

“We have to be proactive and listen to the guidelines that are coming,” Grimsley said, adding that when we get to other side of the coronavirus, we’ll know we’ve done everything we could do to fight it.

Commission Chairman Dean Smith agreed.

“Whether our reaction is overanxious, time will tell,” Smith said. “But we’ve got to err on the side of caution.”

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