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Chambers County Commission honors Williams

LaFAYETTE — The Chambers County Commission on Monday honored the late Bobby Williams with the presentation of a framed proclamation to members of his immediate family. County Attorney Skip McCoy presented a large framed copy of a proclamation to Williams’ widow, Patricia; son, Neal Williams; daughter, Donna Williams Rearde; granddaughter, Jacie Tompkins; and great-grandson, Jordan Tompkins.

McCoy said it was an honor and privilege to make the presentation.

“I grew up on North 14th Street in Lanett, next door to the Williams family,” he said. “Bobby Williams touched not just our neighborhood, but the City of Lanett and all of Chambers County. He was a soft-spoken man, but when he did speak everyone listened. I am so grateful his wife, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are here today for this.”

Patricia Williams then made a comment that rang true for anyone who knew her husband.

“Were he still living, he would have been here for this, but he would have been embarrassed by this attention,” she said. “He deserved it, and I am glad you are doing this today.”

The proclamation noted Williams’ many connections to Chambers County. He was born and grew up in the River View community, graduated third in his class at Valley High in 1954, married his high school sweetheart Patricia Tucker and had a marriage of some 63 years.

“Bobby L. Williams’ life epitomizes the definition of public service,” the proclamation reads, “In numerous capacities, he served his community and faithfully served the Lord. He was educated as, and relied on, as a banking expert. During his banking career, he assisted thousands of Chambers County citizens in purchasing the home of their dreams. He was an avid supporter of public education and Lanett High School and served as a long-time chairman of the Lanett City Board of Education. He later served as the Lanett city manager for 12 years and also served as the city chaplain. As board chairman of the Chambers County Development Authority, he was instrumental in the recruitment of industry to provide jobs for the citizens of Chambers County. He was also a long-time board member and chairman of the Chattahoochee Valley Water Supply District.”

The proclamation commended Williams on having been a man of faith. “He was a devout Christian man and a pillar at the Lanett First Christian Church, where he served as elder, lay speaker and Sunday School teacher,” the proclamation reads. “Bobby L. Williams, most importantly, was a family man and friend to all who had the pleasure of knowing him.”

Members of the commission and citizens present gave the Williams’ family a standing ovation in memory of Mr. Williams.

In other business on Monday, Commission Chairman Doug Jones presented Diane Perry a copy of a resolution backing the annual Chambers County Day of Prayer,  which will be taking place on the east side of Courthouse Square on Friday evening, August 7th.

“I thank you for your support,” she said. “This will be the 19th year we have done this, but the first time we have faced anything like COVID-19. A year ago, no one thought we’d be wearing masks in 2020.”

Perry said this year’s event will be more limited than it has been in the past. “We want you to come but to sit in your car,” she said. “We have a lot to pray for this year. We need relief from this invisible enemy, the coronavirus.”

The commission approved a resolution seeking a budget amendment to the general fund budget to include an upcoming grant to cover COVID-19 related election expenses. This is provided by the CARES Act.

Commissioner Debra Riley was appointed to serve as the Chambers County representative for the 2020-21 ACCA Legislative Committee. “I thank you for sending me back again this year,” she said. “I learned a lot at last year’s session.”

Approval was given to provide Tier I benefits to Tier II plan members, effective Oct.1st.

County Engineer Josh Harvill informed the commission that an agreement had been reached with Norfolk Southern Railway to remove a timber bridge structure over the railroad near Waverly. Norfolk Southern will also put up barricades on each side to halt road traffic.

The county will be replacing the wooden bridge with a modern one. Harvill sought and received permission from the county to remove an estimated 10,000 cubic yards of excess soil from the highway department property. The soil cannot be used in highway projects and could be taken to the landfill. Harvill said his department had finished with pipe replacements that were needed because of storm damage that had occurred back in February.

He said that he had to close a portion of County Road 53 for some needed work but the it should be reopened by the end of the week. Harvill added that there are 140 road bridges in Chambers County and that most of them aren’t inspected every year. The 3 ton bridges have to be inspected every three months. One of them on CR 267 near Fredonia needs to be replaced immediately.

“We are doing this for safety’s sake,” he said. Another bridge south of LaFayette is also in need of replacement. “We will replace it next year,” he said.

County Attorney McCoy said that ownership of the landfill had gone over to Chambers County Landfill LLC. “

There will be a transition mode for several days,” he said.

Chambers County residents need to mark Saturday, Aug. 22 on their calendars. It will be a free day at the landfill. People can deposit as much as one ton of waste at no charge.

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