Commissioners praise Highway Department for work last week

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

By Karen Hall

Editor

"I would like to commend (Road Superintendent) Jerry Williams on the job he did on the county roads last week," said Commissioner E.W. Hill near the end of the County Commission's meeting Monday night.

"The crew stayed out over 24 hours," said Williams.

"You have to give them credit, along with Duck River (Electric Membership Corporation) and the fire departments. Everybody worked together to make it safe for everyone."

"If it wasn't for the highway department clearing the way, we wouldn't have been able to restore power," said Commissioner Seth Warf who works for DREMC.

Marshall County Highway Department Secretary Stephanie Calahan said the workers came in at 3 a.m. Monday and stayed at work until 6 a.m. Tuesday.

"We salted all the roads we could and cleared 450 to 500 trees and limbs," Williams said.

"The biggest problem was the trees down. It was very slick and dangerous. We worked pretty good. I take my hat off to the employees."

He said his workers went through all the roads to make sure they were passable for emergency vehicles.

Now Williams anticipates about six weeks of clean up and repairs to get the county's roads back to normal. Where they had to put salt on oil-and-chip roads, the surface will deteriorate and need extensive work.

Marshall County Highway Department can store 100 tons of salt and this was all used last week, but has now been replenished with 80 tons of salt which was picked up in Nashville.

Another comment made at the Commission meeting came from Chairman Mike Waggoner, who said, "I commend the 911 Board on the job they have been doing" on making consolidated dispatch a reality in Marshall County.

One of the resolutions that received a unanimous vote of approval from the 18 commissioners was the one authorizing County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett to sign the interlocal agreement guaranteeing the county's participation in consolidated dispatch.

In other announcements at the end of the meeting, Agricultural Extension Agent Rick Skillington said he will be hosting two meetings next month: one for farmers who might be interested in running an organic dairy farm and another for farmers who are interested in producing industrial hemp, now legal in Tennessee for the first time in many years.

"It could be a legal money crop for the county," said Skillington.

He later explained he could not find any answers to the questions people are already asking him about cultivating hemp, so he decided to invite an expert to come and explain it to everyone at the same time.

As for running an organic dairy, this could be of interest to at least some farmers, especially since organic milk sells for almost twice the price of non-organic milk, Skillington said.

An organic dairy would depend a lot on grazing, he said, and this could be done in Marshall County. Also, if farmers need to buy organic cattle feed, this can now be found as close as southern Kentucky. Formerly, the nearest source of organic feed was in Kansas, putting it out of reach due to the cost of transportation.