Commission gives go-ahead for seven more storm shelters

Published 4:31 pm Monday, June 11, 2012

The Chilton County Commission made several important decisions at its meeting Monday–and put off several other important decisions.

The commission approved to enter into a contract with Lee Helms Associates for management of projects to install seven severe weather shelters in the county.

County officials applied for grants to obtain the shelters, and Helms told the commission it appeared those grants would be approved.

The contract with Helms would cost the county about $4,700. About three-fourths of Helms’ compensation would be paid for by Federal Emergency Management Agency grants.

Helms didn’t charge for helping county officials with the installations of other storm shelters but said the task of managing projects related to seven shelters at once required a new agreement.

“I think trying to do this many at one time will be a lot for [county EMA Director Bill Collum],” commissioner Allen Caton said. “He’s going to need some help.”

The shelters would be located at Fairview, Verbena, West Chilton No. 2, Gap of the Mountain, Union Grove No. 2, Collins Chapel and Enterprise No. 2 fire departments.

The commission also approved a recommendation by the county’s Industrial Development Board to fill the vacant position of industrial developer by contracting with Crawford & Crawford.

The position became vacant when Joy Littleton announced her retirement at the Feb. 13 meeting.

Cecil Woodham of the Industrial Development Board told commissioners that contracting with the company would save the county money because it wouldn’t have to pay the benefits due a regular full-time employee.

Fred Crawford is the owner and sole employee of Crawford & Crawford. All parties involved indicated Crawford would perform all of the duties Littleton was responsible for.

“Fred has all the experience in his past to handle this job from Day 1,” Woodham said in recommending Crawford. “We feel like it’s the route to go at this point.”

Commissioners put off several other matters until they could be discussed further at a work session scheduled for 5 p.m. on June 18.

At the work session, the commission will discuss:

•A project to resurface and widen County Road 59 from Highway 31 to Highway 24. A grant for the project would require a 20 percent match from the county, which would equal about $400,000.

•Donating to the Montgomery Area Food Bank. A representative from the organization told the commission that the food bank distributed 450,000 pounds of food to Chilton County residents in 2011. Bank officials are raising money toward a $2 million expansion.

•A modification to the new roof that is being put on the Chilton-Clanton Public Library. Attorney John Hollis Jackson advised the commission to hold a special meeting in conjunction with the work session to discuss the project. Jackson said the project architect would need to be involved in any discussions about altering the roof.

•Helping the Chilton County Airport Authority, which has a balance short of what is necessary to pay its bills.

•Donating to the Chilton County Humane Society. Society treasurer Tom Cuthbert told commissioners that summer months are usually slow for donations and that he hoped the commission could donate $9,000, spread out over the next four months.

In other business Monday, the commission:

•Added $1,200 onto the cost of the project of renovations at the tag office. Tax Collector Tim Little told commissioners that some extra work became necessary while the office was being renovated, and that the work could be done more cheaply while workers are still at the site instead of finding someone to do the work at a later date.

•Accepted the resignation of County Administrator Vanessa Hendrick, effective July 12. The commission voted to post the job opening internally for 15 days.

•Closed County Road 212 north of Maplesville. No one was present to voice opposition at a public hearing that was held prior to the closure.

•Allowed Minooka Park Director Gerald Arrington to hire a temporary employee to replace a part-time employee that is going on unpaid medical leave.

•Approved the hiring of a temporary employee by Probate Judge Bobby Martin.