Commission announces site of new tourism building

The new property to will serve as the site of DeKalb County Tourism is located off the second Fort Payne exit, 222, on the north end of town.

The DeKalb County Commission approved purchasing a three-acre property at the North exit on Tuesday to house the new DeKalb Tourism center.

DeKalb County Commission President Ricky Harcrow said the sale of the former Tourism building located at 1503 Glenn Boulevard Southwest was finalized.

“We have received our check for $458,000. That money is restricted. We have to use that money appropriated for another DeKalb Tourism building or else pay it back to the Appalachian Regional Commission,” he said.

With the sale finalized, Harcrow said they located a three-acre property off the second Fort Payne exit owned by Freddy Glover.

He said various parties involved have visited the property, including County Engineer Ben Luther.

“It will be suitable to put our building up there,” Harcrow said. “We have the funding to take care of it and our building also and I am thankful for that.”

The cost of the new property is $300,000. He said that would leave $158,000 to apply toward the construction of the DeKalb Tourism center. Additionally, he hopes the City of Fort Payne will assist them with the parking area.

“We’ve had a chance to examine it and in my humble opinion, it’s a good location and has a lot of long-term potential,” said District III Commissioner Chris Kuykendall.

The commission unanimously approved the purchasing of the property along Greenhill Blvd. Northwest at the cost of $300,000 and the construction of a new DeKalb Tourism center.

On Tuesday, the commission also heard a road maintenance update from DeKalb County Road Department Superintendent Tom Broyles.

“We are still repairing flood damage. It seems like as soon as we get one repair, we have another one, but we are beginning to make a little bit of progress on it,” he said.

Broyles said County Road 153 near the Peaks Corner, which closed during the floods six to eight weeks back, was reopened last week.

“We got County Road 411 reopened [Monday] near the Ten Broeck area that had some damage to the bridge during the last flood we had,” he said. “Hopefully, we will be able to start back on County Road 641 on [Wednesday]. It's our last remaining road from the Easter flood that we haven't repaired yet.”

The commission also:

• accepted the resignations of Raymond Downer, Drake Casey and Kerry Duncan.

• approved the hiring of Tim Page to replace Winfield Alfree, James Wilson to replace Raymond Downer and Noah Fossett as part-time to replace a vacant position.

• approved to award the 2021 resurfacing project bid of County Road 26 to Charles E. Watts Inc. at $539,192.62 and County Road 83 to Wiregrass Construction Company, Inc. at $599,614.45. Funds for these projects come from the Federal Aid Exchange Funds as matching funds and will not require any county money to be spent directly.

• approved the hiring of Hannah Neel to replace Sara McAnelly, Jacob Blevins to replace Jonathan Whitmire as Correctional Officer and Nathan Gentry to replace Dylan Haney as Correctional Officer.

• approved the hiring of Ashley Rossen to replace Elain Chesser retroactive 7/6/21 at the Revenue Commissioner’s Office.

• approved the transfer of Sara McAnelly from the Sheriff Dispatch to the Revenue Commissioner’s Office.

• approved the promotion of Bekka Atkins to Rainsville Supervisor to replace Donna Smith retroactive 7/6/21.

• approved the hiring of Monte Coker as a substitute driver for the rural public transportation department.

• approved the hiring of Jackie McCue as part-time housekeeper to replace Brooke Venable, who was previously transferred to the Revenue Commissioner’s Office.

The next commission meeting is set for August 10, 2021.

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