Mobile County Commission Building Community by tyndale


									Mobile County Commission
 Building Community

        State of the County
     The year 2009 opens with hopes that the new year will bring solutions to the many challenges facing our nation.
We had much to celebrate last year, as Mobile County moved into the spotlight nationwide with economic news des-
tined to transform the region. The late-year economic slide gave us pause as we slowly learned about the dimensions
of a worldwide slowdown.
     We continue to count our blessings, however. Our responsibility now is to make the most of what we have. That
means that now more than ever we must be responsible stewards of our taxpayer dollars, making sure that we priori-
tize increasingly scarce dollars and allocate those funds to their best and highest purposes. It means that we have to
work smarter with fewer resources so that we can wring out every potential advantage before us.
     Meantime, we continue take care of our primary business: building roads and providing for the public’s safety and
welfare. The county has about $30 million in road improvements “shovel ready,” which should be a benefit to the
local economy. We have the additional task of addressing problems uniquely the province of government, such as
hurricane relief and neighborhood stabilization. Lastly, we are positioned to provide leadership in guiding the growth
and development ahead of us.
     Careful, long-term planning is key to a prosperous future and orderly development in our county. The $4.5 billion
ThyssenKrupp Steel mill in north Mobile County means that we will have to pay particular attention to commercial
and residential development along the Highway 43 corridor. Our efforts will be critical to the welfare of existing resi-
dents and the tens of thousands of people who will participate in development of this corner of the county. Several
initiatives already are underway to engage stakeholders and bring professional planners into the process.
     Going forward, one of our greatest challenges will be to deliver adequate services to a rapidly growing popula-
tion in unincorporated Mobile. If you take a look at page three in this publication, you can see the dramatic shift in
population from the city of Mobile into west Mobile. This population is expecting a high level of service to include
water, sewer, fire, law enforcement protection and more. We will be challenged to continue to provide these services
to more and more people with the same revenue base.
     What we can pledge to you is to be good stewards of those tax dollars in hand and to make the most of their use
in the community. It is a privilege and pleasure to represent this county and we look forward to working with the
residents of Mobile County to build a better future for all of us.
 Mobile County at a Glance...
    1990 - 2000 Percent Change in Population                             2000 - 2008 Percent Change in Population
                 by Census Track                                                      by Census Track
                     Mobile County                                                        Mobile County

                                  -50% to -25%
                                  -55% to -25%                                                            -50% to -25%
                                   Within 5%                                                              -55% to -25%
                                  5% to 25%                                                                Within 5%
                                  25% to 50%                                                              5% to 25%
                                  Over 50% Gain                                                           25% to 50%
                                                                                                          Over 50% Gain

Source: Southeast Alabama Regional Planning Commission               Source: Southeast Alabama Regional Planning Commission

                            Population Growth of Mobile County and Surrounding Areas
  Population Growth              1990                       2000                   2008*                   2013**
    City of Mobile              196,278                    198,915                192,724                  188,334
    Mobile County               378,643                    399,843                404,698                  406,426
   Baldwin County               98,280                     140,415                177,077                  201,270
   Mobile Bay Area              476,923                    540,250                581,775                  607,696

     Sources: 1. 1980, 1990, 2000: Bureau of the Census
              2. Decision Data Resources 2008 (*estimated **projected)

                                                Median Household Income

                      Mobile Bay Area                                                               $43,876

                       Baldwin County                                                                 $46,937

                        Mobile County                                                           $40,815

                         City of Mobile                                                     $37,619

                                          0         10000       20000         30000       40000       50000

                    Source: Decision Data Resources 2008
      Quality of Life in Mobile County
         When people look to Mobile for a job, there is always a          the library will be all the more important for families in the
    calculation about quality of life. While hard to define, the rec-      area.
    reational and cultural assets of a community figure large in the
    accounting.                                                                                             Senior Centers
         By this calculation, life changed for                                                              If a program is judged by num-
    the better this past year for people in all                                                        bers of repeat customers, then the
    parts of Mobile County.                                                                            senior citizens’ program in Tillman’s
                                                                                                       Corner is wildly successful, drawing
         Libraries                                                                                     40-50 people daily. The seniors had
         Mobile County played a pivotal                                                                been meeting at the Sonny Callahan
    role in opening the first new library                                                               Boys and Girls Club. But they were
    branch in 11 years. The Semmes Li-                                                                 able to move into their own home
    brary opened in January 2009 at Mof-                                                               with the completion in 2009 of the
    fett and McCrary Roads. The $1.1 mil-                                                              Tillman’s Corner Senior Center on
    lion library had been in the works for                                                             Nevius Road.
    years, first as an idea of the Semmes                                                                    The Tillman’s Corner seniors
    community and finally a reality with the                                                            enjoy fellowship, recreation, exercise,
    support of the Mobile County Com-                                                                  and special programs. In addition, a
    mission.                                                                                           meals program provides hot lunches,
         The new library will draw us-                                                                 a service offered in partnership with
    ers from Semmes, Tanner Williams,                                                                  the Area Agency on Aging.
    Georgetown and Wilmer. It will be a                                                                     Citronelle seniors have a place to
    welcome change, since they no longer                                                               call their own as well. The $468,000
    will have to travel across town to access                                                          Citronelle Senior Center opened
    a library facility.                                                                                in February 2009, after Hurricane
         At the northern tip of Mobile                                                                 Katrina had demolished an existing
    County, another library and technology            IN MY OWN BACKYARD - A young girl senior center in 2005. The approxi-
    center is taking shape in the shell of an         delights in a new playground where friends and mately 30 seniors will enjoy meals,
    abandoned school in Mt. Vernon. With              families from the same neighborhood can en-
                                                                                                      bingo, arts and crafts, exercise and
                                                      joy a quality of life resource.
    $300,000 in funding, the Mobile County                                                            other programming at the new facil-
    Commission is building a resource that                                                            ity.
    will serve current residents as well as citizens of Citronelle and             Sometimes needs are more basic. In Semmes, seniors got

    other north Mobile County communities. As the population the gift of transportation from the
    swells with the opening of the new ThyssenKrupp steel mill, Mobile County Commission in 2008.
                                                                              There were tears when the 15-passen-
                                                                              ger, handicapped accessible van mo-
                                                 POOL SHARK -                 tored into the driveway of the low-income housing facility at
                                                 Well, maybe just one
                                                                              9180 Hellenic Way. Dozens of seniors now have a way to get
                                                 of the hundreds of
                                                 seniors who enjoy
                                                                              to doctors or a means of picking up prescriptions.
                                                fellowship, exercise,
                                                games and program-             Parks
                                                ming at the Mobile             Families in Tanner Williams won’t have to pack up the kids
                                                County Senior Cen-        for a day of recreation out of town with the opening of a new
                                                ters located through-     park in their own back yard.
                                                out the county. There           The Old Tanner Williams Community Park has been
                                                are senior centers        remade with funding of $748,000 from the Mobile County
                                                in Tillman’s Corner,      Commission. Little more than a softball field when renovation
                                                Citronelle, Saraland,
                                                                          work began, the park now features improvements including
                                                Grand Bay, Wilmer,
                                                Prichard and Creola.
                                                                          sidewalks, a pavilion, playground equipment, safety surfacing,

                                                                       port from the County Commission. The National African-
                                                                       American Archives received money for a children’s reading
                                                                           Last year, the Mobile County Commission helped fund a
                                                                       three-week summer camp to engage elementary school stu-
                                                                       dents in the subject of engineering. The program dovetails
                                                                       with the County Commission’s support for the engineering
                                                                       program at Davidson High School.
                                                                           In all, $1.5 million of county funding shored up education
                                                                       efforts in Mobile County.

                                                                           COURTHOUSE ANNEX:
                                                                       CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF MOBILE

      MAKING IT HAPPEN - More than 250 kids from Mobile
   County designed, tested and re-designed their own water filtration
   system. The 4th and 5th graders were part of Engaging Youth in
   Engineering Camps during the summer of 2008, funded in large
   part by the Mobile County Commission.

  dugouts, bleachers, a girls’ softball field, park benches along an
  existing trail, a drinking fountain, chain link fencing, landscap-
  ing, irrigation and drainage.

      Education looms large on the agenda for the Mobile Coun-               Mobile County broke ground in October on a new court-
  ty Commission. Not only is it essential to the future prosperity     house annex building downtown, a four-story, historic-looking
  of our children, but it builds character and citizenship.            structure to house the Probate Courts and other government
      To those ends, the Mobile County Commission steps in             offices. (Please see cover of this publication for progress on the new build-
  when possible to support the schools. From the least glamor-         ing.)
  ous jobs of infrastructure improvement, to educational pro-                The $17.1 million building will primarily house probate
  grams and computers, the work of the Mobile County Com-              court employees. At present, there are 61 probate court em-
  mission is integral to the success of countless school projects.     ployees scattered at two sites downtown. Many of the pro-
                                                                                                                bate’s functions have been

n parks senior centers library                                                                                  provided at the old Press-
                                                                                                                Register building across
                                                                                                                from Government Plaza.
                                                                                                                The new building will con-
      Look across the County of Mobile, and the work of the            solidate the downtown probate offices.
  County Commission in the schools is everywhere. It’s a new                 The building also will provide satellite offices for the Mo-
  playground at McDavid Jones Elementary School in Citronelle          bile County Revenue and License Commissions and the Board
  and Griggs Elementary School in Theodore.                            of Registrars.
      It’s a new tennis court complex at Mary G. Montgomery                  The building incorporates historic architectural flourishes
  High School or donations to a host of Parent-Teacher Orga-           to complement the architecture of some of the older buildings
  nizations across the county. Satsuma High and the Alabama            in the downtown area.
  School of Math & Science get new parking lots; Grand Bay                   It will be located between Government Plaza and the pro-
  Middle School gets a new fence. Lots of kids get new uni-            posed Mardi Gras Park that will be built at the corner of Gov-
  forms.                                                               ernment and Royal Street.
      The Mobile County Commission also is the invisible hand
  behind efforts by other agencies and partners of the schools.
  The work of the Mobile Area Education Foundation gets sup-
                  County Paves the Way for Progress

                                       BEFORE                                                                    AFTER

        REBUILDING THE COASTLINE - Coden, a tiny fishing community in south Mobile County, got hammered by hurricanes.
        Pictured here, Mobile County has rebuilt the beautiful coastline roadway of Coden Belt Road, one of the many hurricane relief proj-
        ects of the county.

        Mobile County, which includes the city of Mobile, has            that has worked for us in the past. Schillinger corridor develop-
    paved the way for the city’s extraordinary economic and geo-         ment started in the late 1990’s when Mobile County started the
    graphic growth, literally laying the groundwork for major cor-       widening project. The commercial development that followed
    ridors of commercial development.                                    included the giants of retail, along with restaurants and smaller
         $136 Million in Roads                                                              Future plans call for Mobile County to pay
         The county has committed nearly $136 mil-                                     a share of $14 million in improvements to Old
    lion to major roadway improvements through                                         Shell Road. Another $7 million is targeted for
    the 2008 Pay-As-You-Go Program. This is a                                          widening of Airport from Baker High School
    commitment to future growth and prosperity for                                     to Snow Road.
    both the city and county of Mobile.
         For the city of Mobile alone, Mobile County                                         Linking I-10 to West Mobile
    has spent more than $8 million on streets in the                                         A connector from Nevius Road to Hillcrest
    last four years and a $12 million city project is                                   Road is now under construction. At a cost of
    underway now. Moreover, the streets it has de-                                      $4.2 million, the connector will link west Mo-
    veloped and maintained are key arterials within                                     bile and the I-10 corridor at Rangeline Road.
    the city, such as Airport Boulevard and Schil-                                      Meantime, an almost $10 million project to wid-
    linger Road.                                                                        en Hillcrest from Three-Notch Road to Girby
         What will the $136 million buy for our resi-                                  Road is nearing completion.
    dents going forward? For starters, we are looking at a $93 mil-           Multi-millions more in county dollars will be expended to
    lion price tag for development of Schillinger Road from Lott         improve Grelot, Dawes and Cottage Hill Roads. Cottage Hill
    Road to Old Pascagoula Road. The improvements will com-              will be widened to five lanes from Schillinger to Dawes Road
    plete a long-term project to create a five-lane roadway from          at a cost of $5 million.
    I-10 to Alabama 158 and over to I-65 in Saraland.                         The county is making good on its promise to lead the way
                                                                         forward. Our road projects enhance the lives of residents. At
        Laying Foundation for Growth, Prosperity                         the same time, they provide the business community with the
        The plans are part of a formula for growth and prosperity        infrastructure to thrive and build prosperity for everyone.

    Through the Pay-As-You-Go program for road-building, road improvements
    are provided to citizens without tapping the county general fund, and without
    a tax increase!
                                County Roundabout To Save Lives, Dollars
     Mobile County will be the first recipient in the state of Alabama to receive federal dollars for construction of a roundabout
under the High Risk Rural Road Program. The roundabout will be located at Three Notch Road and Dawes Lane.
     Mobile County will be moving ahead with plans for other roundabouts at appropriate intersections because of data showing
significant advantages in driver safety and traffic efficiency. That same data has compelled the federal government to require that
government agencies give priority to roundabouts in order to receive federal funding.
      A roundabout is a circular intersection where incoming traffic yields to traffic already in the circle. Numerous studies have
pointed to dramatic reductions in crashes, injuries and fatalities with the roundabout design. According to the Federal Highway
Administration, roundabouts have delivered a 90 percent reduction in fatalities or incapacitating injuries and a 35
percent reduction in all crashes. Much of the benefit comes from the fact that vehicles aren’t meeting head-on, or at right
angles, as they would at a traditional four-way stop.
     Besides safety considerations, the roundabout’s configuration offers other advantages as well.
     * It keeps traffic flowing steadily in and out of the circle,
        increasing traffic efficiency.
     * The roundabouts are less costly since there is no
        signalization equipment to install, power or maintain.
     * They are more environmentally-friendly since there is less
        idling time and fewer stops and hard accelerations.
     County officials, recognizing that the design will be new to
many local motorists, will post information and safety tips online
at In particular, the following points
are emphasized:
     * Slow down.
     * Yield at entry to circulating traffic.
     * If there’s more than one lane, use the left lane to move
     through the circle or to turn left, and the right lane to turn
     * Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.
     * Stay in your lane within the roundabout and use your right-
     turn signal to indicate your intention to exit.
     * Always assume buses and trucks need all available space and
     don’t pass them.
     * Clear the roundabout for emergency vehicles to pass.

             Making a Difference for Constituents
    Dr. William Barrick , pictured below, is executive director of Bellingrath Gardens and Home, one of the state’s top tourist
attractions. The 12 miles of roadway leading past the gardens were improved over the last several months, providing a grand
entrance to the grand gardens, and easing the way home for scores of residents whose homes are located off the roadway.
   The $2.6 million project to improve Bellingrath Road brought this response from Dr. Barrick:
   “Bellingrath Gardens and Home is very appreciative of the most recent repaving project of Bellingrath Road by Mobile Coun-
ty. This improvement provides a
grand artery to one of Alabama’s
top tourist destinations. The proj-
ect was conducted in a very pro-
fessional manner and addressed
not only surface paving conditions
but drainage along the roadway.
The addition of reflectors greatly
improves nighttime driving condi-
tions for all of our visitors.”

        Rebuilding Lives, One Home at a Time
         Charlotte Braggs was seated at her                                                         another household. Eventually, they all
    kitchen table in Prichard when Hurri-                                                           found temporary quarters in a motel and
    cane Katrina roared ashore. Crackling                                                           finally a FEMA trailer.
    sounds sent her and her family diving                                                                The Braggs family, meantime,
    to the floor as the winds propelled a                                                            learned to live with catch-all buckets and
    huge limb through their roof. Wa-                                                               mold and mildew. Before the county
    ter gushed in. Floors buckled. Walls                                                            stepped in, she had already spent her life
    crumbled. The house shifted. The                                                                savings to rewire her house, so she could
    100-year-old house on Maudine Av-                                                               at least draw electricity into the home.
    enue sustained significant damage.                                                                    Looking back, all of them wonder
         After the same storm, but over in                                                          how they have come so far. While not
    the south part of the county, sisters                                                           a routine job of the County of Mobile,
    Glenda and Wanda Hilliard returned                                                              hurricane relief turned into a critical
    to their trailer home off Dauphin Is-                                                            mission, offering a lifeline to distressed
    land Parkway to assess damages. With GIVING THANKS - At left, members of the families with few resources.
    four grandchildren in hand, whom Hilliard family stand on the foundation of their                     For the Braggs family in Prichard,
    they are raising together, the two sis- former home that was destroyed by Hurricane hurricane relief gave them back their
    ters were heartened to see their trailer Katrina. Their new home is pictured behind house. “It was wonderful,” repeats Mrs.
    sitting on its cement pad, looking very them. Shown in the back row, from left, are sis- Braggs. “I thank God for it.” Workmen
    much like they had left it.                 ters Glenda and Wanda HIlliard. The children, rehabilitated the Braggs’ house with a
                                                from left, are Adrian, 13; Thomas, 8; and Savan-
         What they couldn’t see from the                                                             new roof, walls, windows and flooring,
                                                nah 11. Dara, 15, also lives here.
    road, was that the winds had ripped the                                                          followed by a coat of paint. For Mrs.
    air conditioning units off the roof and                                                          Braggs, the workers were like knights to
    started a fire. Rains eventually drowned it out and drenched the rescue. “They was like family,” she says, though noting that
    the trailer’s interior. Their home was uninhabitable.                   they were in and out in less than three weeks. “They worked
         In Wilmer, Evelyn Tanksley took refuge at her daughter’s with us so good. All the workers I just love them to death.”
    house when Katrina’s winds kicked up. Returning home, she                    For Mrs. Tanksley, hurricane relief restored her to a safe,
    discovered that the winds had destroyed her roof and the ceil- decent home. “The house is good now,” she says. The roof
    ing had fallen through. “I couldn’t live there anymore,” said and ceilings, wiring, walls, and some cabinetry are new.
    the Wilmer senior citizen. “It was rough; I didn’t know what I               The Hilliards still can’t believe their turnaround. No one
    was going to do.”                                                       in the Hilliard household, not even the youngest of them, is
         None of the families had insurance to cover the damages. without profound gratitude for their assistance. They reside in
                                               One of the storm a new, four-bedroom trailer, delivered to them in late 2008.
                                               victims noted that                It is 8-year-old Thomas Hilliard who says it best. On a
                                               when the city cracked piece of lined notebook paper, he penciled the following:
                                               down on uninsured
                                               motorists, the choice
                                               had to be made be-
                                               tween covering their                   Dear Mrs. Carol Lang and Santa Claus (both
                                               car or their house.          case workers).
                                               For these residents, as
                                               with so many others                    I feel richer than elvis presely (sic) in my
                                               in Mobile, the night- new home!!!
                                               mare had started.
                                                     The Hilliard sis-                 Thank you thank you thank you very much
            SWEET HOME ALABAMA -                                                               Love our family
       At right, Mrs. Evelyn Tanksley stands
                                             ters spent seven weeks
                                                                                               Thomas Richard
       with her great granddaughter in her outdoors in a make-
       rehabilitated house.                  shift campsite on their                           William the III
                                             cement block founda-
                                             tion; the kids stayed in

             Hurricane Katrina Disaster Assistance
     The Mobile County Hurricane Katrina Disaster Assistance Program is making important strides in deploying federal dollars
assigned to the repair and renovation of local properties.
     After spending initial dollars on cleanup and debris removal, the county started the enormous task of assessing and priori-
tizing recovery projects, including the repair and renovation of local houses. This process required a ground-up approach to set
up protocol and process for the enormous task. The goal: to insure program integrity through careful needs assessment while
adapting to a variety of federal regulations.
     By the end of this year, about 200 families affected by Katrina will
have fixed-up homes, new trailers or brand new houses. A total of $12
million just for buildings will have been expended by the end of the sum-
mer, most of it to put families back in safe, clean houses.
     More than $3 million was spent on rebuilding Grand Bay Middle
School. The fishing community of Coden, which was torn up by Hurri-
cane Katrina, opened up a new Coastal Response Center this year to help
the community recover in a future storm. The facility at 7385 Highway          BE PREPARED - The Coastal Response Center in
188 is a 7,300 square foot building large enough for 18-wheelers to drive Coden will serve as a staging area for recovery in the
through and unload supplies and equipment in an emergency.                     event of another major storm. The fishing village was
     Mobile County is moving into the fast track now in home reconstruc- hit hard by Hurricane Katrina.
tion funding and expects to complete the process of rebuilding by next

      Seniors Making Meaningful Contributions
      When most are contemplating retirement at 55, Mobile             Retired and Senior Volunteer Program offers volun-
County has a corps of volunteers, ages 55 and older, who          teers 55 and older the opportunity to provide essential help
are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work. For nearly    at non-profit and health care agencies. These volunteers are
40 years, thousands of seniors have provided volunteer ser-       known for doing almost everything, whether it’s working with
vices to the community through the Foster Grandparent             the police department’s forensic unit or putting on a commu-
Program, Senior Companion Program and Retired and Se-             nity festival! They are given challenging, rewarding, and signifi-
nior Volunteer Program (RSVP).                                    cant service opportunities in their communities.
      Although each program is different, all of them are en-
listing the knowledge, wisdom and expertise of the elderly.
Here’s a brief breakdown of the groups:
      Foster Grandparent Program has volunteers age 60
and older assisting children and youth with exceptional
needs. These special grandparents have big jobs including
tutoring students to improve academic skills, motivating
and instilling good behavior, rewarding good socialization
habits, listening to and counseling each child/youth indi-
vidually, serving as positive role models, mentoring youth,
helping with reading abilities, caring for babies and children
with long-term illness, and assisting children with mental
and physical disabilities.
      Senior Companion Program has volunteers ages 60
and older, who provide assistance and friendship to seniors
who are homebound and to frail adults who are in day care
centers. Duties include helping others to maintain their
                                                                    CHANGING LIVES - Ethel Hall gives a hug to her little friend
highest level of independent living, preparing meals for cli-       whom she’s come to know through the Foster Grandparent Pro-
ents, helping with grocery shopping, escorting to medical           gram.
appointments, and assisting with day-to-day living tasks.

        Efficiency of Government in Mobile County
         It’s been one year since the groundbreaking in north             that corridor. The County is also working with the state to
    Mobile County on the largest private development project in           complete the widening of Schillinger Road.
    the country. The ThyssenKrupp steel mill now represents an                 In the area of workforce development, Mobile County
    investment of $4.5 billion.                                           supports an effort by the Governor’s office to coordinate
         Mobile County worked diligently with civic and govern-           training and job placement. The Alabama Workforce De-
    ment leaders to make the project                                                                    velopment Council Region 9 is
    a reality. In 2008, the Mobile                                                                      consolidating work force efforts
    County Commission helped fund                                                                       in southwest Alabama by work-
    yet another exceptional develop-                                                                    ing closely with Mobile Works,
    ment: the new, $138 million USA                                                                     The Mobile Area Chamber of
    Mitchell Cancer Center.                                                                             Commerce, the two-year col-
         This state-of-the-art research                                                                 lege system, and local secondary
    and treatment facility will ulti-                                                                   school systems. In addition,
    mately support 700 high-paying                                                                      Alabama Industrial Development
    jobs. At the same time, the Can-                                                                    Training encourages economic
    cer Center will greatly improve                                                                     development through job-specif-
    the quality of life in Lower Ala-                                                                   ic training and works closely with
    bama, both educationally and as a           ANTICIPATING NEEDS - The new container                  industry to meet employment
    state-of-the art medical center.            terminal will mean hundreds more tracter-trailers on  needs.
         We had more good news over             our roads.                                                 We will be carefully planning
    the last year. Austal Shipbuilding,                                                               for, and tracking, development along
    SSAB ( the steel mill in Axis), and Evonic (formerly Degussa) the Highway 43 corridor where much of the development re-
    are expanding operations. Berg Steel Pipe in Plateau is ready         lated to ThyssenKrupp will occur. This is not a scatter shot
    to start up operations. And the new Mobile Container Termi- approach to planning, but a meticulous and orderly process.
    nal will transform commerce at our waterfront.                        We will be implementing the North Mobile County Needs As-
         Our unique good fortune has caught the attention of              sessment this year. With the input of residents and industry
    the national and international press; the most recent acco-           leaders, we are ready to move forward with bold and well-con-
    lade coming from,                                                                              sidered steps.
    which named us last year as the                                                                                As a first step, a detailed
    number one mid-sized metro                                                                                report outlining the needs
    area on its best places for                                                                               of wastewater treatment was
    growth list.                                                                                              submitted to Governor Riley
         The challenge for the                                                                                in January. This is the single
    county is to keep up with the                                                                             most important need to ac-
    infrastructure needed to sup-                                                                             commodate growth in north
    port this growth and to provide                                                                           Mobile County.
    the workers needed by our new                                                                                  In addition, a bill to pro-
    and growing industries.                                                                                   vide for limited land use plan-
         The new Container Ter-                                                                               ning in the unincorporated
    minal will mean hundreds of                                                                               areas north of Creola has
                                           TK RISING - Rebar rises out of the ground as workers start
    additional tractor-trailers on         building the immense $4.5 billion ThyssenKrupp steel mill in       been introduced, giving us
    our roads and highways every           Mobile County’s northeast corner. Mobile County sealed the         the option to develop a mas-
    day. The County has joined             deal with a $70 million incentive package.                         ter plan for development on
    the Chamber of Commerce                                                                                   both sides of Highway 43.
    and other community leaders                                                                                    Land use, traffic, emer-
    in calling for a new I-10 bridge across the Mobile River that         gency services, health care, job training – these are all in our
    will not impact our maritime industries. The County supports sights as development takes off in north Mobile County. A
    the rapid completion of the new Highway 98 and has worked regional leadership team will be convened to guide us as we
    closely with the Alabama Department of Transportation and             tackle these issues in future years.
    concerned citizens to address environmental concerns along

                 County’s Dogs Get New Digs
     About 100 animals moved to new and finer accommoda-
tions when the Mobile County Commission opened its new
animal shelter in March at 7665 Howells Ferry Road. Dressed
in their finest ribbons, a dozen of the shelter’s adoptable pets
joined county commissioners and other animal rescue agency
leaders at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
     The new $2 million building allows the county to move
its operations out of the shelter that it has leased in the city
of Prichard. The new shelter is a much larger facility at
10,500 square feet and will increase holding space from about
100 animals now to 300.
     By law, the county is required to operate an animal shelter
to protect the health and safety of residents. The size of the           Dangerous Dog Ordinance
Prichard facility had been inadequate to meet the needs of a
                                         growing county, which
                                         last year answered more
                                                                         Gives Added Bite To Law
                                         than 10,000 calls for          A new Dangerous Dog Law went onto the books in 2008
                                         service. Intake of ani-   as part of an attempt by the state legislature to curb dog at-
                                         mals in 2008 exceeded     tacks. It will make a big difference to Mobile County’s Animal
                                         6,700 and jumped by       Control Department.
                                         almost 2,000 animals           In the past, the dogs had bite, but the laws lacked teeth.
                                         just in the last two      The penalties for repeat dog bites were benign and owners had
                                         years.                    only their conscience to guide their actions.
                                              The county has            The new law, by contrast, establishes monetary fines and
                                         struggled to accommo-     criminal penalties. It allows the court to step in if a pet poses
                                         date the thousands of     a serious risk of injury, laying out consequences ranging from
                                         stray animals reported    strict confinement to euthanasia.
by the public. In the last fiscal year, there were 1,200 calls to        Not surprisingly the numbers of dog bites have increased
pick up aggressive stray dogs, and another 2,300 calls for ran-    over the last few years along with the population. There were
dom strays. The county got called to investigate 468 animal        97 bite investigations in the 2005-2006 fiscal year compared to
cruelty complaints and 182 dog-fighting reports. There were         142 in the last year. The county picked up more than 1,200 ag-
142 calls for dog bites.                                           gressive stray dogs last year, along with another 260 aggressive
     Pet adoption is an important facet of the work of the         dogs with owners.
shelter and officials hope the more accessible location on a             In addition to education of pet owners, the Mobile Coun-
major commercial thoroughfare will make it easier for people       ty Animal Control Department enforces laws that help to pro-
to visit and adopt unwanted animals. Last year, there were         mote the safety and welfare of the public.
481 adoptions, up sharply from 110 the year before.
                                  Visit us at: www.mobilecounty

             Good Riddance: Junk Gets Outlawed
      A kinder, gentler enforcement program seems to be work-          Cooperation has worked both ways. Officers are very ac-
 ing in Mobile County.                                             commodating to residents who demonstrate a commitment to
      County residents passed an ordinance last year requiring     clean up problem yards. Residents, for their part, are willing to
 property owners to clean up unhealthy and unsightly junk in       abide by the new regulations. Some may not have realized that
 their yards. Since passage of the junk control ordinance May      they were creating an eyesore or a health hazard. Many were
 1, the county’s Environmental Patrol Officers have issued hun-     unaware of the passage of the new law.
 dreds of warnings to Mobile County residents.                         Mobile County Commissioners don’t want to use a heavy
      The surprise is that cooperation between county residents    hand, if possible. They had moved forward with the view that
 and enforcement officers has yielded a 90 percent compliance       good communication and reasonable approaches could work
 rate.                                                             for most cases.

     BEFORE                                                            AFTER

                     Public Safety: Building Capacity
      The Boy Scout motto, “be prepared,” is imperative in the           The County of Mobile provided the Fowl River commu-
 rapidly changing landscape of Mobile County. It’s the proac-      nity with a fireboat, a long-sought tool for the river community
 tive approach to handling 911 emergencies in Mobile County.       to fight shoreline fires and fires aboard vessels.
      Last year, Mobile County invested more than $250,000 in            Bayou La Batre in south Mobile County, and Citronelle
 upgrading equipment, gear and facilities for volunteer fire de-    in north Mobile County, received Jaws of Life rescue tools to
 partments in Mt. Vernon, Calcedeaver, Citronelle, Creola, Oak     extract people from car wrecks.
 Grove, Satsuma, Turnerville, Semmes and Wilmer-George-                                                           Public safety will
 town.                                                                                                       remain one of the
      “Most of the fire protection in north Mobile County is                                                  top two imperatives
 provided by volunteers,” said Commissioner Merceria Lud-                                                    for the county, along
 good. “Given the rapid growth in the area, it was important                                                 with roads. “It is
 to provide much needed resources, without taxing the com-                                                   our task to better the
 munities.”                                                                                                  quality of lives for
      Commissioner Stephen Nodine added, “We are simply                                                      Mobile County resi-
 providing life saving tools for these volunteer fire departments                                             dents…the measures
 to exist.” Nodine continued, “We owe it to the citizens of Mo-                                              that we are taking
 bile County, to improve these services.”                            RIVER BOAT RESCUE - Members
                                                                                                             can mean the differ-
                                                                     of the Fowl River Volunteer Fire Dis-
      Efforts are still underway to enhance other emergency ser-                                             ence between life and
                                                                     trict are capable of going out in the
 vices in Mobile County.                                             water to to fight fires aboard vessels or death,” said Commis-
      In February, the Commission along with EMA and other           along shorelines.                       sion president Mike
 local officials secured $82,000 in funds to install new emer-                                                Dean.
 gency sirens in Semmes, Coden, Dauphin Island, Satsuma and
                Law Enforcement Drives Down Crime
    Serious crime in the county of Mobile has declined by nine
percent in the last year, while drug arrests are climbing with the
Sheriff ’s methamphetamine initiative. Ten new deputies have
been hired on the force in the last year and a new substation is
going up in Calvert, near the ThyssenKrupp steel mill.

     You Play, You Pay
     Meantime, putting inmates to work on projects around the
county has sent the message that “you play, you pay,” to the
tune of thousands of dollars a week in labor for the citizens
of Mobile County.
     Three inmate crews are usually at work throughout the
county and inside government, paying back for some of their
misdeeds while doing constructive work. At the beginning of
March, a two-week period of work delivered about $7,000 in
savings to Mobile County taxpayers, based on a wage of $6.55
per work hour by these inmates. The following two-week pe-
riod of work is valued at $4,400.
     These inmates are involved in grounds maintenance for
public buildings and local parks, as well as work at the county
garage or in other maintenance jobs. They have been deployed              Methamphetamine manufacture and use has become the
to agencies such as the food bank, or to help other munici-           drug of the day because it can be manufactured on site quickly
palities. Recently, Saraland received inmate assistance for land-     and doesn’t have to be smuggled into the country. The social
scaping. For the November 2008 election, more than 100 man            costs are huge: it produces toxic waste and catastrophic health
hours were donated to the county by inmates.                          effects for users and those exposed to it.

                                                                          The Future
                                                                          The Sheriff ’s Office attributes a strong workforce and new
                                                                      technology to the decline in serious crimes. Its challenge will be
                                                                      to keep manpower levels consistent with growth in the county
                                                                      and to continue building its technological infrastructure.

     Send It To End It
     The new Meth Initiative yielded big results in the last year.
A $400,000 grant gave the Sheriff ’s Office the means to set
up a text message tip line and to institute aggressive pharmacy
compliance checks to fight methamphetamine use. The re-
sults: 170 arrests, 89 tips and 76 meth labs seized since the start
of the program in January 2008.

     Financials: Revenues/Expenditures
                                MOBILE COUNTY COMMISSION
                                     REVENUE BY TYPE
                                         FY 2008

            Charges for Services

             Licenses and Permits

                                         MOBILE COUNTY COMMISSION
                                          EXPENDITURE BY FUNCTION
                                                  FY 2008

                                             Capital Outlay                    Infrastructure Outlay
                                               $8,197,192                           $20,250,565
                                                  3.6%                                  8.8%
                                     Debt Service

                      Education                                                             General Government
                      $3,559,887                                                                $51,170,085
                        1.5%                                                                      22.2%
       Culture and Recreation

                   Welfare                                                                  Public Safety
                  $8,287,277                                                                 $57,351,930
                    3.6%                                                                       24.9%

                            Sanitation          Highways and Roads
                            $3,300,261              $55,313,593
                              1.4%                    24.0%

                           Mobile County Offices
MOBILE COUNTY                                     Investigation & Recovery           574-8465
COMMISSIONERS                                   COURT-PROBATE
  Dist 1-Merceria L. Ludgood         574-1000     General Information                574-8500
  Dist 2-Stephen Nodine              574-2000     Judge Don Davis                    574-8506
  Dist 3-Mike Dean                   574-3000     Document Recording Division        574-8497
  Commissioners Reception            574-5077     Elections Division                 574-8480
                                                         Absentee Election Office    574-6400
ANIMAL CONTROL                                           Voting Registration         574-8586
  Complaints                         574-3647     Judicial Division                  574-8502
  General Information                574-3230     Marriage License Information       574-8494
                                                  Records Department                 574-8490
BARBER COMMISSION                    574-4247
                                                DISTRICT ATTORNEY
BOARD OF EQUALIZATION                574-8590     Main Office                        574-8400
                                                  Check Enforcement Unit             574-5775
BOARD OF REGISTRARS                  574-8586   ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT            574-7867
  County Engineering                 574-8595     Kim Hastie                         574-8566
                                                  Information-Tags & Title           574-8551
COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS                             Boat Registration                  574-8563
CENTER                                            Business and Professional Lic.     574-4800
  Reception                          574-3295     Driver's Lic-Renewal-Information   574-8562
COURTHOUSE INFORMATION               574-4636     Sales & Use Tax                    574-4800
                                                  Hunting and Fishing License        574-8563
  Court Police                       574-2677   REVENUE COMMISSIONER
  Child Support Payments             574-8760     Marilyn E. Wood                    574-8545
  Circuit Court/Civil Division       574-8420     Appraisal Division                 574-8713
  Circuit Court/Criminal Division    574-8430     Assessing Division                 574-8530
  Circuit Court/Domestic Relations   574-8441     Business Personal Property         574-4714
  Clerk- Jo Schwarzauer              574-8430     Collection                         574-8545
  Court Administrator                574-8771     Plat Room                          574-8534
                                                  Redemption                         574-8542
  Donald J. Banks                    574-8488   SHERIFF'S OFFICE                     574-2423
  Rosemary DeJuan Chambers           574-8463     Emergencies and Complaints         574-8633
  Charles A. Graddick                574-5639     SHERIFF- Sam Cochran                574-7827
  Joseph S. Johnston                 574-8685     Jail Metro                         574-4702
  John R. Lockett                    574-8477          Central Control/Metro Jail     574-2355
  Robert Smith                       574-8485          Central Control/Barracks       574-2321
  Sarah Stewart                      574-8457          Classification                 574-3378
  Roderick P. Stout                  574-8481          Docket/Booking 1               574-3340
  James C. Wood                      574-8474          Docket/Booking 2               574-3341
  Michael Youngpeter                 574-8780     Personnel                          574-4913
                                                  Pistol Permits                      574-8694
 Domestic Relations                  574-8760     Property                           574-4782
 COURT-DISTRICT                                       Semmes                         574-8040
  Bad Check Fines & Court            574-8511         Theodore                       574-8744
  Civil Division Information         574-8526     Warrants                           574-8657
  District Civil/Small Claims        574-8526
                                                TOBACCO TAX                          574-8580
  District Criminal                  574-8511
 JUDGES                                         TREASURER
  George N. Hardesty                 574-8512     Al Sessions                        574-8585
  Charles N. McKnight                574-8438
  Michael E. McMaken                 574-8681   VETERANS AFFAIRS                     574-8578
  Bob Sherling                       574-8722
  All Departments                    574-1450
  Crisis Center                      574-3222
  Judge George A. Brown              574-5245
  Judge Edmond G. Naman              574-8470

Mobile County Commission
   205 Government St.
      P.O. Box 1443
    Mobile, AL 36633

    (251) 574-5077

To top