Commissioners vote to pay Ajax what’s due

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By Alice Du Pont

"We owe the man. They've done the work and we have to pay them," said Gadsden County Commission Chairman Eugene Lamb, when the discussion of paying Ajax Construction began Tuesday night during the regular meeting of county commissioners.

The vote was unanimous to pay the company.

Ajax submitted a final payment request for $719,119.87, minus a previous payment for $132,980.97, for a net request of $586,138.90. The final request was reviewed and evaluated by Clemons-Rutherford, the county's engineers for the hospital, which certified the final amount. The request was also reviewed and evaluated by county hospital site manager Clyde Collins, who also approved.

The challenge for the county is to find funds to pay the company.

The county hopes to pay the company from available funds and later request the bank amend the loan amount of $9.75 million to cover the Ajax payment.

In an unrelated matter, commissioners voted to pay county administrator Johnny D. Willliams an annual salary of $100,000. His approved contract also calls for 4 months severance pay.

"This is the average contract," said Thornton Williams, county attorney.