Archived Story

County urged to register deaths electronically

Published 11:16am Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dadeville area funeral director Carl Pritchard complained to the Tallapoosa County Commission Monday that the county is one of just five statewide that doesn’t electronically file death certificates.
Pritchard, who runs Alabama Funeral Homes, told commissioners that under the state’s vital statistics laws, death registrations should now be uploaded online to the state’s Electronic Death Registry System.
Pritchard asked commissioners to “mandate” the coroner to get the county in compliance.
“That’s a tragedy for these families, to have to wait for death certificates,” Pritchard said. “It’s mandatory, but the state hasn’t been enforcing it.”
Pritchard said he and other funeral directors are still filling out death certificates on typewriters, when the rest of the state is able to post theirs on the statewide database.

“The Electronic Death Registry System expedites the process of filing a death certificate, thus expediting the process of filing insurance benefits as well as the will of the deceased,” Pritchard wrote in a letter to County Administrator Blake Beck.
The only other counties not in compliance with the policy are Marion, Clarke, Covington and Barbour counties, Pritchard said.
The commission took no action on Pritchard’s complaint and Beck said those powers are reserved to the county coroner. County Coroner Mike Knox is out of town this week for training, Beck added, and Knox did not return calls for comment from The Outlook.
In other business by the Tallapoosa County Commission:
Rather than adjourn Monday morning’s meeting, commissioners moved to recess the meeting until 9 a.m. Sept. 30, when they will reconvene to consider the fiscal year 2014 budget.
Commissioner Steve Robinson (District 2) suggested putting county employees on direct deposit rather than printing and mailing checks. He called it “an effort to move us forward,” and a way to reduce printing and postage expenses. Beck said it would need to be “all or nothing,” so as to not stretch commission office staff between methods. At the urging of District 1 Commissioner T.C. Coley, Jr., arrangements would be made for employees who do not have a checking account. Commission Chairperson Emma Jean Thweatt said they would vote on Robinson’s proposal at the October meeting.
Commissioner Frank Tapley (District 3) joked that some employees might not want direct deposit, because “then their wives would find out how much money they make.”
Approved the county highway department to vacate a platted, but undeveloped, portion of the right of way on Pine Tree Circle in the Bama Park subdivision at the request of area property owners.
Approved the the posting of 10 mph speed limit signs on Nuthatch Road.
Awarded the bids for materials for the highway department in the 2014 fiscal year.
Approved the reappointment of Rev. Emerson Ware, Inez Farrow and Raphelia Forbus to the Tallapoosa County Department of Human Resources Board.
A citizen complained about the state of the American flag flying in front of the Tallapoosa County Courthouse in Dadeville. County Administrator Beck said a new one has been ordered.
Approved the county adopting the newest standards from the Governmental Accountability Standards Board.
Announced that the courthouse will be closed Oct. 14 in observance of Columbus Day.

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