Grant would add three storm shelters, install weather radios

Published 8:29 pm Monday, August 22, 2011

If awarded a grant, the city of Clanton would be able to add three storm shelters inside city limits and put a NOAA weather radio in approximately 4,000 homes and businesses.

The Alabama Emergency Management Agency grant follows April’s horrific tornado outbreak. The grant requires a 25-percent match from the city.

To install three community storm shelters and weather radios, Clanton would have to pay $97,500. The total cost of the project would be $390,000.

The three storm shelters would cost $270,000, while the weather radios — enough to cover every home and business in Clanton — would add another $120,000.

The city council voted Monday to apply for the grant. If given the grant, the city would still have an opportunity to turn it down, Mayor Billy Joe Driver said.

The mayor listed possible storm shelter sites as the end of 15th Street in West End as well as possible sites on Enterprise Road and in Lomax near the Industrial Park. However, no decision has been made, especially since the city may not even get the grant, Driver said.

“(The EMA grant) sounds like a deal to me,” said Councilman Greg DeJarnett. “I think we need to do all we can to apply for it and get it.”

The shelters would hold approximately 100 people apiece, according to Chilton County EMA Director Bill Collum.

In other business, the council took the following actions:

•Approved several personnel changes in the police department, including the resignation of Forrest Silas and promoting Wade Johnson to a supervisor position, effective Aug. 25. Two full-time officers and two part-time officers were also hired.

•The council also voted to give $3,000 to the Chilton County Humane Society, which is running low on funds between now and its new budget year Oct. 1. The society helps with the city’s animal control and is already given $30,000 a year by the city. When approving the funding, the council also voted to ask the humane society for a recent financial report.

•Approved paving work to be done near Chilton County High School.