Commission will pay for storm shelters individually

Published 6:14 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lee Helms of Lee Helms Associates, LLC, spoke to the Chilton County Commission on Monday to clarify a bill he sent recently for the county’s nine new storm shelters.

Helms had billed the commission $4,700, which was to cover his project management fee for installing all nine shelters.

Previously, the commission had agreed to pay Helms the fee for the whole project up front, and the nine grants the commission received for the shelters through the Federal Emergency Management Agency would reimburse the county later.

But in an effort to conserve funding, the commission voted to rescind its original resolution to pay for all shelters at the beginning and passed a new resolution to pay Helms’ project management fee on a per-shelter basis at the inception of construction, administrator Connie Powell said.

Each shelter will hold a minimum of 100 people, and all nine shelters must be installed within three years of when each grant was issued.

“I’d like to see these get built as quick as possible,” Commissioner Allen Caton said. “This is some of the best money we spend right here.”

Several local residents also spoke to the commission Aug. 27 about problems they have had with roads in the county, namely during and after rains.

County engineer Tony Wearren said the cost of tar and gravel, alone, to pave one mile of road is about $60,000.

“The problem is that the money we get to pave roads is gasoline tax, and that’s going down every year,” Caton said. “We look and we hunt for everything we can get.”

Wearren added that his department has dropped to 41 employees, and his budget has lost about $1 million in four years.

“We only have five machines working 400 miles of road,” Wearren said. “We also have to pay salaries. I’ve got a crew of five or six working on a road. With my present crew size, you would still only get three to four roads (paved) a year.”

In other business, the commission:

•Granted the chairman permission to sign a Federal Aviation Administration grant for the Chilton County Airport Authority.

•Authorized line item transfers in the Board of Registrars’ budget.

•Authorized the chairman to sign the engagement agreement with Standard and Poor’s for refunding the commission’s bond issues.

•Added the Chilton County Airport’s courtesy vehicle from the Clanton Police Department to the county’s automobile insurance policy for liability coverage only.

•Granted Administrator Connie Powell permission to consult with Janice Hull of Hull & Russell, PC.

•Authorized the chairman to sign the cooperative agreement for Emergency Management Performance grant funding for Fiscal Year 2012.

•Did not pass a resolution to provide the Chilton County Humane Society with $3,000 if funds were available. The vote was 4-3, with commissioners Caton, Heedy Hayes, Joe Headley and Bobby Agee opposed, and Chairman Tim Mims and commissioners M.L. “Red” Turnipseed and Greg Moore in favor.

•Authorized the chairman to sign a Rule G17 disclosure statement with Standard and Poor’s for the Frazier Lanier Co., Inc.

•Authorized the chairman to sign a warrant purchase agreement for the Frazier Lanier Company to price a bond.