Thorsby approves storm shelter at football stadium

Published 8:50 pm Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A storm shelter at Thorsby High School’s football field could benefit the town and the school in more ways than one.

The Thorsby Town Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to give Mayor Jean Nelson the authority to sign a grant contract for a project to construct the shelter at Susan Bentley Field.

The action followed a presentation by representatives from the Chilton County Board of Education and Lee Helms Associates, which would serve as the project manager.

Schools Superintendent Dave Hayden wanted to make sure councilmembers knew that the shelter would become BOE property once constructed. Helms and the council had no problem with the arrangement.

“All of this can be done and is done at other places,” said Helms, whose company has served as project manager for many such shelters in Chilton County and across the state.

The shelter, which would be built inside a fence that surrounds the stadium, could be used by the school–as a dressing room for football teams and for other purposes–in times no severe weather warning had been issued.

“We’re behind it,” Hayden said about the project. “We think it would be a good thing for the city of Thorsby and the school.”

The 30-feet-by-30-feet shelter would house 100 people. The school would maintain the property, while school and town officials would develop a plan for opening the shelter in the event of inclement weather.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, which was moved from Monday because of the Alabama football team’s appearance in the college national championship game, Nelson appointed councilmembers to serve as liaisons with the town’s various departments.

Nicole Hilyer will serve as liaison with the police department, Roger Marcus with the fire department, Marvin Crumpton with streets and sidewalks, Randall Higgins with parks and recreation, and Neil Benson with public works.

In other business, the council:

•Passed a resolution to ban parking on town property. The resolution was intended to address large trailers being parked for extended periods of time and thus damaging property.

•Received information about changing pay scales for the town’s various departments. The changes would likely result in raises for town employees. Councilmembers said they wanted more time to collect information and consider the situation, and said a work session should be scheduled some time in the future.