Archived Story

Property needed for shelters

Published 4:25pm Monday, August 8, 2011

The Chilton County Commission will seek FEMA funding for the construction of three new storm shelters.

The shelters would be located near North Chilton Fire Department, South Chilton Fire Department, and East Chilton Fire Station No. 2. None of the proposed sites, however, have the 1-acre space required for a shelter and parking area, said Lee Helms of Lee Helms Associates.

“I’d like to not give up on these sites just right now,” Commissioner Heedy Hayes said during Monday’s meeting.

“There are some communities that are working with churches to do this,” Helms said, citing Limestone County as an example.

In that situation, property must be leased to the county, and a maintenance agreement must be signed.

Each FEMA grant would fund 75 percent, Helms told the commission. The county’s match could come in the form of in-kind contributions through site preparation and other work.

While the first grants will go to counties that were hit the hardest during Alabama’s recent tornado outbreak, Chilton County would probably not be far down the list because it is in a high-risk area, Helms said. The high-risk designation is based on 20 years of statistics.

The commission voted unanimously to name Helms the project manager for shelter grants.

In other business, Commissioner Bobby Agee responded to the most recent Grand Jury report, which noted the inadequate judicial space in the courthouse for court business.

“We need to do something to alleviate overcrowding in the courthouse,” Agee said.

The report also recommended that the commission consider the construction of a new judicial complex. Agee mentioned looking at alternative sources of funding for such projects.

The commission also:

•Approved the final plat for Creekside Subdivision off County Road 264.

•Agreed to apply for the candidacy of Vanessa Hendrick as a certified county administrator through the Association of County Commissions of Alabama.

•Appointed Aaron Little to the hospital board, and appointed Betty Adams to the industrial development board.

•Went into executive session for legal matters.

•Following the session, voted to ask the Attorney General’s Office to give a ruling on an application for court reporters’ compensation.

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