Coffee County Commission Holds Marathon Meeting

Gary Kidd sworn in as new District 20 commissioner.. By Barry West

During the Coffee County Commission meeting on Tuesday night, a new commissioner was appointed to the 20th district. Gary Kidd, who recently won the election for that district, was appointed because the votes have not been certified. The seat was open after Chris Bird resigned and left the district without representation for several months. If Kidd had not been sworn in Tuesday, he would have not taken over the seat until January.
The meeting may have set a record for the length of time after going for a marathon 4.5 hours.
The hot topic of the night was the proposed rock quarry in Hillsboro. Commissioner Barry West said he didn’t see anything the commission would do tonight that would be ground breaking. West said he wanted the commission to set the criteria so that Wright Paving or any other company would have a chance to start the process of asking for the right to build in the county. Commissioner Bobby Bryan said he was looking out for the Hillsboro citizens that were opposed to the idea. Most of the bantering between commissioners was about whether to allow an M-2 zoned business to operate in that area and what reclamation cost should be. (Reclamation- The process of reconverting disturbed land to its former or other productive uses.) Commissioner Virgil Alford asked Codes Director Glen Darden to see the zoning map of the county. Darden got a map from his office. Commissioners questioned if that was an updated map and Darden said yes and it was done in 2006. A representative for St. John Engineering said a newer map was done in 2009 and showed the current rock quarry in Hillsboro as an M-2. In a vote of 13-6 the commission voted to approve $3,000 per acre reclamation cost not to exceed $95,000 per project. Some said the cost may be too low. Commissioner West says he will submit a new resolution to change the cost to $4,000 per acre not to exceed $200,000 per project at the next meeting. The next issue to be voted on was postponed. This was the issue of re-zoning the land M-2. This was done so county attorney Robert Huskey can check on all legalities of changing the zoning including whether a public hearing needs to be held. The next meeting of the county commission is Jan. 8, 2013.