Progress continues on four Clanton storm shelters

Published 7:07 pm Friday, September 12, 2014

Four new storm shelters could open in Clanton soon.

City workers have spent the past several months preparing the sites of the planned shelters, which would be located in the Lomax community, West End community, off Enterprise Road and adjacent to the Fred’s shopping center.

The basement of Clanton City Hall currently serves as the only shelter in city limits.

Work to open the additional shelters began after the city was awarded grant funds.

Three of the shelter sites (the ones at West End, Enterprise and the shopping center) are almost ready to have a concrete slab poured.

After the slab is in place, the pre-fabricated shelter is set in place.

The shelters would be similar to others that have been installed in Chilton County.

One difference, according to Clanton Mayor Billy Joe Driver, is that Clanton workers might push dirt up against the sides of the shelters to give them added stability.

The shelters can hold about 100 people. From 200-300 people can fit in the basement of city hall.

An architect has been hired for the projects, and bids would have to be sought and approved for the pouring of the slabs.

The shelter in the West End community will be located adjacent to the E.M. Henry Head Start Center. The shelter off Enterprise Road will be located at the Clanton Senior Center. The shelter at the shopping center will be located between the center and Clanton City Park.

The shelter in Lomax will be located off Old Henry Road, close to Lomax Drive and Highway 31.

However, the Lomax shelter project is running behind the others because the site changed.

The grant for the project was submitted with the industrial park being listed as the site, but it was determined that there was no suitable site at the park.

The city purchased about five acres of land for $30,000 to serve as the site of the shelter.

But the new site turned out to be more than 1 mile from the original site, which could have voided the grant.

“We’ve had to jump through some hoops to move it, but they’re working to see if they can get that through,” Driver said.