Kimberly Police Department officer Nick O’Rear was laid to rest Monday afternoon in Jefferson County after being shot in the line of duty last week.
To remember O’Rear’s service and that of all law enforcement, Tallapoosa County commissioner John McKelvey invited local law enforcement to Monday’s commission meeting. McKelvey is a retired police officer and felt moved to do something.
“It just hit me,” McKelvey said. “There have been so many in law enforcement who have lost their lives already this year. I wanted to do something to let them know they are valued and I appreciate what they do.”
Before the commission took care of its regular business just hours before O’Rear was buried, a representative from every law enforcement agency in Tallapoosa County was present for a small ceremony to thank each of the departments for their service. Alexander City Methodist Church pastor Bro. Wayne Cowhick also delivered a short invocation before the commission continued its business.
Commissioner George Carleton and Rep. Ed Oliver (R-Dadeville) presented a resolution to the commission to rename a portion of Highway 120 in honor of longtime Reeltown High School football coach Duane Webster.
“I had a bunch of people in the community come to me wanting to do something to honor (Webster),” Carleton said.
Oliver said renaming a road is not a common occurrence.
“It is very, very rare to name a road after someone much less while they are still living,” Oliver said.
Carleton and Oliver said a portion of Highway 120 in front of Reeltown High School will be renamed for Webster. Oliver said the process starts with the commission approving a resolution. Next Oliver said he will take the resolution to the state legislature for approval then the Alabama Department of Transportation will make and install the signs.
The commission approved a budget amendment for the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department. County administrator Blake Beck said the move will allow the school resource officer program to have a supervisor and will be funded from the Tallapoosa County Board of Education.
McKelvey asked if there were issues with garbage pickup.
“There is one route in the north end of the county that has been missed three times since Thanksgiving,” McKelvey said.
The commission entered an executive session to discuss a pending legal matter. It returned to a regular session after 35 minutes and took no action.
Junior Leadership Lake Martin Class of 2020 attended the meeting to learn more about county government. After the commission adjourned its meeting it took questions from the group. Commission chairperson Steve Robinson gave the high school juniors basic information about Tallapoosa County and the commission. Robinson said approximately 42,000 reside in Tallapoosa County and each of the five commissioners represent about the same number of voters. The commissioners are responsible for a $17 million budget.
In other action the Tallapoosa County Commission:
• Approved warrants and purchase orders
• Approved a contract for street lighting on Thomas Road
• Approved employee leave under the Family Medical Leave Act
• Approved the naming of a private drive to Creekside Drive
• Approved final plats for Longleaf Subdivision Phase 7 and The Landing at StillWaters
• Assessed alcohol licensing fees as a yearly requirement for the Alabama Beverage Control Board
• Approved an indigent burial
• Approved the adoption of 2015 ICC building code
• Was reminded the courthouse will be closed Monday, Feb. 17 for Presidents Day
The next meeting of the Tallapoosa County Commission is at 9 a.m. Monday, March 9.