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County votes to fix weather sirens (updated)

Published 9:11pm Monday, May 13, 2013

Former CMC employee Chilton Medical Center Aubrey Brown told the commission he would like to see an emergency 1-cent sales tax go into effect until a new hospital is built.

Brown addressed commissioners with concerns that a tax increase would be unfair due to not everyone owning land within the county.

“I just didn’t think it was right for a few in the county to sponsor a project that big and everybody benefits from it but only a few people pay for it,” Brown said.

Brown said each resident of Chilton County has several things to think about when going to bed each night including how much gas is left in their cars in case of an emergency that would require transportation to either Shelby Medical Center or Prattville Baptist.

“If you, or your wife, or your child gets sick during the night you need to know where you are going to go or if you have time to get there,” Brown said. “These are things you are asking the citizens to consider due to us not having a hospital in this county and sooner than later we need to start taking a little responsibility on ourselves.”

Caton said he appreciated Brown voicing his concerns and assured Brown the commission was committed to cooperating with the Chilton County Hospital Board to get a hospital opened back up in the county.

“We will be meeting on Tuesday night with the hospital board and state Sen. Cam Ward and Rep. Kurt Wallace to discuss the best solution for getting a hospital back in this county,” Caton said.

Hospital board officials requested the commission’s help with bringing up a 5-mill ad valorem tax increase for a vote by Chilton County residents, but Caton said Monday night that was just an option being discussed and nothing had been finalized.

Caton said the commission would keep everyone informed about what was being discussed regarding the hospital and commissioners would know more about what options could be a possibility after the meeting on Wednesday night.

Commissioners also heard from Chilton County EMA director Bill Collum on reports of a Chilton County Courthouse security survey that was done by the Department of Homeland Security.

Collum told commissioners the Department of Homeland Security found 10 measures that could make the courthouse more secure and it was up to commissioners to decide how much money they wanted to spend to secure the courthouse.

“It really depends on how much money you have to spend on making the courthouse secure with their suggestions,” Collum said.

Caton said he would like to look into some of the suggestions made with Collum and Chilton County Sheriff Kevin Davis.

“With the commission’s permission, I would like for us to look into some of the items they mentioned and report about cost and pricing for the items to the commission,” Caton said.

Welch said the next commission meeting would be on June 10 because of the Memorial Day holiday on May 27 and it would be an entire month until commissioners could vote to get work accomplished toward the security issues.

“I think we should go ahead and approve a certain amount of money toward this project and between Caton and Collum address some of these issues,” Welch said. “If we don’t tonight, it will be six weeks down the road in getting some of this stuff done.”

Welch made a motion to commit up to $10,000 from the Capital Improvement Fund toward addressing security issues at the courthouse with Agee seconding the motion.

Seven commissioners voted in favor to commit the money toward security improvements with commissioners Mims and Headley voting against the motion.

Headley said his reasoning for voting against the motion was wanting the project to be done “right.”

“I might be in favor of this if it is done the right way,” Headley said.

Mims said he was concerned about the cost, which was why he voted no.

Caton said he would get in touch with both Collum and Davis this week to discuss a plan for getting the security issues addressed.

In other news, the commission:

• Tabled a discussion about finding someone to be in charge of a countywide recycling program until the June 10 meeting. Caton said county litter agent Libby Ratliff told commissioners after they appointed her to be in charge of the program during the April 22 commission meeting she was not interested in running the program so Caton said someone needed to be appointed. Commissioners voted to rescind the original motion to appoint Ratliff as the head of the program and discuss other options at the upcoming commission meeting.

• Voted to allow Minooka Park manager Gerald Arrington to apply for a grant to purchase an additional 40 acres for Minooka Park. Welch said Arrington needed a resolution from the commission before he applied for the grant. Commissioners unanimously voted in favor of the motion.

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