‘Unit System’ Causes Debate Over Equipment In Limestone County
LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A move to save hundreds of thousands of dollars is under fire in Limestone County because it would change the way things have been done for decades.
It’s all about the county’s emergency equipment and road money allocated to each of the four districts. The commission chairman wants to fast-track a change some argue would fix something that isn’t broken.
Right now, each of Limestone County’s four districts have money and heavy equipment for all kinds of emergencies.
“We can react [quickly], having the equipment in the district, when you have trees down or you have washed out roads or whatever, we can respond within minutes here,” said Commissioner Bill Daws.
Daws says he is against a proposed plan to move that equipment to a centralized location in Limestone County, which would put it all under a unit system.
“The unit system would combine all the equipment out of all four districts into one location,” said Daws. “And to me, that would be a problem and it would cost more money because you got to go a further distance around to get to the job site.”
He says residents like James Chambers are telling him not to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.
“It’s just real convenient out here and it’s working good so far,” Chambers.
“This is something we’ve looked at for a year,” said Limestone County Commission Chairman Stanley Menefee. He is pushing for the change, saying it would save money and allow the county to get rid of duplicated equipment.
“I think we should conserve and manage our monies lots better than what we’re doing,” said Menefee. “I think going to the unit system would put another at least a million, maybe two a year in the road department.”
That’s the most common thing he says residents ask him about — when roads will be paved. Under the unit system, it would all fall under the direction of the county engineer, instead of the individual commissioners.
Daws sees that as taking away a responsibility voters gave him.
“That’s my job. That’s what I’m elected for,” said Daws.
Nonetheless, the plan is on the table for commissioners to consider at their next meeting on Tuesday, September 4.
Menefee says if the change was made to the unit system, it would happen slowly over time. Daws argues it will make it harder to do things the county must be able to do around the clock on any day, such as burying dead livestock that pose a health threat.