City of Clanton to help repave school parking lot

Published 9:19 pm Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The city of Clanton is willing to help repave the parking lot in front of Chilton County High School.

The City Council voted unanimously Monday to give $40,000 toward the project, which has been a focus of student and faculty leaders.

CCHS Student Government Association President Mason Easterling told the council that resurfacing would cost about $73,000. The company that provided a quote said they would subtract $3,000 from the price as a donation, and fundraisers have accounted for about $5,000, Easterling said, leaving a need of about $65,000.

The council voted to give $40,000, if the Chilton County Board of Education could make up the difference.

Easterling said Chilton County Schools Superintendent Dave Hayden indicated the board might be willing to provide the needed funds.

Council members said they were in favor of giving the money because the parking lot is used for some events not related to the school, such as the annual Chilton County Peach Festival pageants.

Easterling presented council members with copies of a study of how the parking lot is used, including for parking not related to school activities. The study was prepared by CCHS math students.

The council also awarded bids for new police department vehicles.

Stokes submitted the low bid, in the amount of $24,558.50, for a pickup.

The only other bid submitted was by Stivers, located in Montgomery.

Stivers submitted the only bid for patrol cars, $27,995 per car (three are needed). The council voted to reject the bid and instead purchase vehicles off the state bid, which is about $25,000 per vehicle, Clanton Police Chief Brian Stilwell said.

To close the meeting, Councilman Greg DeJarnett was allowed to address the rest of the council and those in attendance about him seeking the office of Chilton County Superintendent of Education.

DeJarnett said he is not seeking the office as a way to leave his current job with the Alabama Department of Education.

“People ask me, ‘Why would you want to leave that good job you have with the state,'” DeJarnett said. “That just speaks to the love I have for Chilton County.”

DeJarnett said his current position has allowed him to gain experience with compliance, law, school safety, graduation rates, behavior and attendance–in addition to the experience he already had from working at several different levels of the school system.

“In 20 years of working here, the thing I pride myself on is the character and integrity I work with,” he said. “The school system has been good to me, and I have a passion and drive for what I want to get accomplished.”

In other business, the council:

•Was presented copies of an architectural drawing of the E.M. Henry Head Start Center. The center has been closed because of fire code violations. City officials said the architect who provided the drawing has been in contact with the state fire marshal’s office and was hopeful that renovations could bring the building up to code and allow its reopening.

•Heard a question about when a planned storm shelter will be installed in the West End community. Mayor Billy Joe Driver told the resident that a site for the shelter has been secured.

•Heard concerns from a resident who lives on Jackson Avenue about her property flooding during rains. The resident also addressed the council about motorists speeding in an area of Kincheon Road where children live nearby. Driver said he would look into both concerns for potential solutions.

•Approved Fire Chief David Driver’s attendance at an Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs conference from June 16-19 at Orange Beach.

•Approved the minutes from the April 14 meeting.

•Approved paying necessary bills.