Thorsby council hears about business licenses, storm shelters

Published 10:52 pm Monday, November 19, 2012

Thorsby’s Town Council heard presentations about business license administration and a project to build a storm shelter in the town.

Lee Helms from Lee Helms Associates LLC addressed the council at the town’s request about a federal grant that was approved to construct a storm shelter at Susan Bentley Field, Thorsby High School’s football stadium.

The grant would be about $100,000, with the town responsible for about $24,000, which could include in-kind work.

Helms told council members about the process to see the project through to completion and also about his role and the fees he would charge. Helms’ company would serve as a sort of project manager and would charge 3 percent of the project’s cost.

Thorsby would need board of education approval to begin the project because the shelter would be located on BOE property.

Helms said he has discussed with town leaders the possibility of the shelter having other uses when it is not occupied during severe weather.

The council also heard from Yolanda Watkins with Revenue Discovery Systems, the company that analyzes the town’s sales tax collection, about another service RDS offers: business license administration.

Watkins said RDS would handle the town’s business licenses for $8.80 per transaction, which could amount to about $9,000 per year.

The town currently handles the licenses itself, and town clerk Crystal Smith said there are no problems with the current arrangement.

Two residents of Pine Street addressed the council about purchasing a road that leads onto their property.

The residents told the council that the road being privately owned could help limit off-road vehicles being driven through the area.

Because adjoining property is owned by others, council members said they would have to check with the other property owners and the town’s attorney before any decision could be made.