County looking for space for two storm shelters

Published 2:54 pm Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chilton County officials are looking for land to accommodate two planned storm shelters.

The county commission approved a plan presented by the county’s Emergency Management Agency to have a shelter placed at every county fire department, which meant 13 shelters in addition to the five currently standing in the county and one already under construction.

But North Chilton and South Chilton fire departments were determined to not have adequate space for shelters.

“We’ll end up losing the grant money if we don’t find somewhere to put these shelters,” county EMA Director Bill Collum said.

Anyone with land that could be used for a shelter should call Collum at 755-0900 (leave a message if there is no answer) or any of the county commissioners.

A 25-year lease is also an option for someone wanting to help provide space for the shelters.

The shelters measure about 35-feet-by-40-feet, and there would also have to be parking for 50 vehicles, though a parking area nearby or even across the street would be sufficient.

“They allow us an acre (for each shelter), but we can get by with a lot less,” Collum said.

Land used for a shelter could not be in a flood zone. The county would perform the excavation work needed to prepare the sites for a shelter.

Time is a consideration for the EMA because the grant must be finalized by Oct. 27.

In addition to North Chilton and South Chilton, the commission previously approved shelters to be built at the following fire stations: Verbena, Enterprise No. 2, East Chilton No. 2, Gap of the Mountain No. 1, Gap of the Mountain No. 2, Collins Chapel, Union Grove No. 2, West Chilton No. 2, Isabella, Cedar Grove and Fairview.