Section 45-5-130Duties; salary; bond; county commissioners employed as part-time officers.
(a) In addition to all other authority vested in the Blount County Commission, the county commission shall set the necessary policies and priorities for the construction, maintenance, and repair of all public roads, county highways, bridges, ferries, and public facilities within the county, to insure the people a safe and adequate road system based on the county unit system. Each member of the county commission shall inspect the roads of his or her district from time to time, and hear the suggestions and complaints of the citizens, and report the suggestions and complaints to the commission with his or her recommendations; confer with the county engineer concerning the problems of his or her district; and to assist in securing rights-of-ways, and assist in public service generally. The county engineer shall provide the necessary equipment and personnel, in the absence of a county commissioner, to respond to any request of an emergency nature made by a member of the county commission, or by any citizen wherever and whenever an emergency may arise in Blount County.
(b) The Blount County Commission shall continue to employ a county engineer, who shall be a thoroughly qualified and competent professional engineer although he or she shall not be required to be a licensed land surveyor, but otherwise shall possess all of the qualifications specified for county engineers under the general laws of the state and shall devote his or her entire time and attention to the maintenance and construction of the county public roads, highways, bridges, ferries, and other county engineering projects and shall, during his or her employment, reside in Blount County, Alabama. The county engineer shall serve under the Blount County merit system.
(c) The county engineer, in accordance with policy established by the county commission and within the law of the State of Alabama, shall: (1) Employ, supervise, and direct all laborers and assistants necessary to properly maintain and construct the public roads, highways, bridges, and ferries of the county, to prescribe their duties, and to discharge employees for cause; (2) perform the engineering service and surveying required; (3) maintain the necessary accounting records to reflect the cost of the county road system; (4) build or construct new roads, or change old roads in accordance with the policies and priorities established by the county commission; (5) locate the necessary equipment within the various districts of the county in order to perform routine maintenance on all public roads, highways, bridges, and ferries on a continuing basis; and (6) construct and maintain all county roads on the basis of the county as a unit, without regard to any district or beat lines, insofar as is feasible.
(d) The county commission shall fix, from time to time, in accordance with prevailing economic conditions, the various scales of wages or salaries to be paid for labor and assistants necessary in the maintenance and construction of the roads, bridges, ferries, and public facilities. The county engineer shall not exceed the wage or salary scale in the employment of laborers and assistants.
(e) The county commission shall fix the amount of the salary of the county engineer, payable in equal monthly installments, from appropriate road and highway funds.
(f) Before entering upon his or her duties, the county engineer shall make and enter into a surety bond in the amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000), payable to Blount County, conditioned for the faithful discharge and performance of his or her duties as county engineer, and for the faithful accounting of all monies and property of the county, which may come into his or her possession or custody. The bond shall be executed by a surety company authorized and qualified to do business in Alabama, and shall be approved by the county commission. The premiums thereon shall be paid by the county.
(g) The county commission shall furnish the county engineer with an office within the county and all office supplies, equipment, communication, utilities, and transportation necessary to accomplish his or her duties under this section.
(h) The county engineer shall be the custodian of all road machinery and equipment, tools, supplies, and repair parts, owned by Blount County, and he or she shall be accountable to the county commission for the same. The county commission shall establish necessary policies and regulations governing accountability and relief therefrom and shall furnish the necessary storage and repair facilities for the tools, machinery, supplies, and equipment. The county engineer shall keep on file in his or her office at all times, an up-to-date inventory containing a list of all tools, machinery, equipment, and supplies belonging to Blount County.
(i) The authority of the county engineer shall be limited to the expenditure of those funds allocated for the purpose of construction, maintenance, or repairs of public roads, bridges, ferries, or the expenditure of any other funds for duties or other projects for Blount County that the county commission may set aside and appropriate. The county commission at a meeting in September of each calendar year, or not later than the first meeting in October following, by order or resolution spread upon the minutes, shall fix and determine the amount of funds which shall be available for the purpose of building, maintaining, and constructing public roads, bridges, and ferries of the county for the forthcoming or current fiscal year, as the case may be, beginning on October 1st. That amount, other than the salary of the county engineer and his or her necessary expenses, shall not be exceeded by him or her in building, maintaining, and constructing public roads, bridges, and ferries in Blount County during that period. The county commission may, from time to time, within any fiscal year, increase the amount allocated for expenditure by the county engineer, when the authorization is not in conflict with the general laws of the state.
(j) The county engineer shall make written requisition to the county administrator for all materials, machinery, equipment, and necessary supplies needed for the construction, maintenance, or repair of the public roads, bridges, and ferries of Blount County. The requisitions shall be filed and presented by the chairman to the county commission at its next secondary meeting, for the approval by the county commission. However, the county administrator shall have full power and authority to make purchases without first obtaining the approval of the county commission if a delay might, in his or her judgment, cause an unnecessary and harmful interruption in the operation of the county road system, provided that the purchases are made in accordance with prevailing law. The county administrator shall be solely responsible and accountable for purchasing the materials, machinery, equipment, and supplies under the approved requisitions, and shall report monthly to the county commission.
(k) The county engineer shall inspect all materials, machinery, equipment, and supplies, purchased by the county for use on public roads, bridges, and ferries upon delivery and the materials, machinery, equipment, and supplies shall neither be accepted nor paid for without prior approval by the county engineer, and any deviation from the specifications, requisitions, or purchase orders shall be reported to the county administrator and the county commission.
(l) In the event an emergency should arise in which it would be impossible for the county commission to employ an engineer, the county commission shall employ a competent road supervisor who need not be an engineer, but when employed shall have all the duties and authority of the county engineer and shall be subject to the terms of this section. An emergency shall not exist longer than is necessary to employ a qualified engineer who will accept employment by the county commission under the terms of this section. It is the intent of this section that, except in an emergency, county roads, bridges, and ferries shall be maintained or constructed in Blount County under the supervision of a qualified engineer.
(m) Beginning with the expiration of the current term of office for each county commissioner, the positions of county commissioner of Blount County shall be part-time positions. The county commissioners shall receive compensation for serving as part-time officers in accordance with the minimum allowable by state law.
(Act 92-388, p. 795, §§1-13.)