New bridge construction is underway, and Lena residents probably can't be happier. The bridge, number 310, is slated for removal and a new bridge built in its place. In the near future, concrete saws will begin working on the bridge so it can be removed piece by piece.
"Our bridge work could be curtailed next year if we don't get a spring draw for the cumulative bridge fund," said Ron Chamberlain, county highway supervisor. "This year we will have completed three new bridges in the county. Next year we might not be able to do that much."
Chamberlain reported to the Clay County Commissioners on Monday that the bridge project in the county went very well this year. Another bridge is slated to be completed on Dec. 4.
In other business, the commissioners approved the purchase of a paver for the highway department at a cost of $48,500. The price includes the operating paver, delivery to the county highway department, and numerous spare parts.
Athens Ambulance presented a contract for ambulance service renewal agreement. The contract, dated Dec. 16, 1997, includes an annual subsidy paid by the county to Athens Ambulance of $153,000 per year. The subsidy is paid in 12 monthly installments of $12,750 a month. It was also agreed that the user's fees would be $300 for emergency response, $200 for routine scheduled response, an increase of $50 for advanced life support, and $7.50 per loaded mile.
The contract was approved as presented.
The commissioners also opened bids for gravel, rock, asphalt and fuel. The bids are to be put on a spreadsheet and reviewed before a final decision is made.
At the end of the meeting, Harold "Buddy" Knox said it had been an honor working with Ruth Miller and William Morthland, both of which lost their bids for re-election. This is the final meeting for Miller and Morthland.