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Clanton City Council hears about closing of Head Start building in West End

Published 9:17pm Monday, February 10, 2014

Clanton’s City Council on Monday was briefed about the closing of the Head Start building at E.M. Henry Park in the West End community.

The building, and all Head Start activities that were regularly held at the facility, have been shut down since the state fire marshal’s office found 36 violations.

Clanton Fire Chief David Driver said his department was called to the building recently on a fire alarm, and it became apparent that the hood system in the building’s kitchen wasn’t functioning properly.

Since the building is owned by the city, Driver said he contacted the state fire marshal’s office for an inspection.

Driver said the violations include the hood, landscape equipment and fuel being stored in a bay connected to the rest of the building and fire extinguishers not being accessible.

Head Start employees maintain the building and grounds, and Driver said plans call for kitchen equipment to be disconnected and moved, and for landscape equipment to be removed from the current storage site.

Driver and Mayor Billy Joe Driver have met with a Head Start representative and discussed the possibility of meals being delivered to the site as opposed to prepared on-site. Such a measure would eliminate the need for kitchen equipment at the building.

Once the problems have been addressed, the state fire marshal’s office would have to come back for another inspection prior to the building being reopened.

The council also heard from the owner of a donut shop located across Highway 31 from Chilton County High School about what he has determined to be a problem affecting his business.

The owner of the Donut Chef told council members that his business will likely have to be closed because of a lack of demand. Part of the problem, he said, is the number of people selling a different brand of donuts at street corners and parking lots around town.

The owner said he couldn’t compete with the prices at which the donuts are sold, and that he didn’t think it was fair that the peddlers didn’t have to pay sales tax or a business license fee.

The donut sales apparently appear to be part of a fundraising effort but in fact are not, the business owner said.

Driver and council members said they would look into the situation.

In other business, the council:

•Approved a revised agreement between the Clanton Police Department and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency that would provide for compensation when the city performs services for the state agency’s Clanton headquarters. CPD Chief Brian Stilwell told the council that the EMA requires security any time the Clanton location is activated to deal with statewide emergencies. CPD helps provide security and is compensated, but the new agreement would provide for the city providing other services, such as sanding roads to the facility in the event of a winter weather event.

•Approved Cameron Bates with CFD to attend a fire investigation course in March in Tuscaloosa.

•Heard from Chilton County Industrial Development Coordinator Fred Crawford that a Industry Appreciation Night scheduled for Tuesday has been cancelled. The event was to be held at the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center at the Jefferson State Community College Clanton Campus, but the college announced that its locations would be closed Tuesday because of the threat of inclement weather.

•Was introduced to Jackie Baker, who will fill in for Hilton Lane with the Neighborhood Watch effort. Lane recently passed. “We’re excited about the leadership he’s going to provide,” Councilman Greg DeJarnett said, but Baker was warned that he would have a hard time filling Lane’s shoes. “I know I can’t fill them, but with God’s help, I’m going to try,” Baker said.

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