County officials plan economic development session for Jan. 27

Published 5:00 pm Thursday, January 15, 2015

County officials hope to learn different strategies for economic development at an upcoming work session scheduled for Jan. 27 at 5:30 p.m.

Chilton County Commissioners discussed the upcoming work session during a regularly scheduled meeting Monday.

During the commission reports section of the meeting, commissioner Joseph Parnell said he was able to confirm that Peggy Smith, director of the Cullman Economic Development Agency, will be coming to Chilton County to speak about Cullman’s recent success with economic development.

Leaders from Chilton County met Smith in 2014 during a trip to Cullman to learn more about the recent growth the city has experienced.

“Peggy is a dynamic lady,” Parnell said. “I think she will have some really good ideas to bring to the table and we can learn a lot from her.”

Parnell said the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce will host a “Business After Hours” which will begin at 4:30 p.m. and the work session will begin at 5:30 p.m.

The event will be held at the Alabama Power Conference Center in Clanton.

Parnell said Smith will more than likely give a two-hour presentation, and after the presentation, the group would have a “cocktail hour” at Boomerangs in Clanton.

Commissioners unanimously voted to schedule the work session.

Parnell also addressed the issue of courthouse security on Monday and suggested commissioners approve an extension for the funding made available to employ off-duty officers from the Clanton Police Department to operate front door security at the Chilton County Courthouse.

Parnell asked commissioners to consider “continuing” the resolution already approved by the commission until March 1, when newly elected sheriff John Shearon could address the commission on his thoughts for security.

Commissioners voted in August 2014 to contract with the Clanton Police Department for two off-duty police officers to man the front entrance to the courthouse for $15 an hour, until a permanent solution could be found.

Parnell told commissioners Monday that Shearon would like to address the commission with what the cost might be for the sheriff’s department to provide commissioners with the same security, once Shearon is officially sworn in as sheriff.

Commissioners unanimously voted to extend the resolution to March 1 until Shearon could present his ideas to the commission.

In other news, the commission:

•Approved a resolution appointing Erick Smitherman to be moved from a part-time position to full-time position, effective immediately, with the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department.

•Approved a resolution appointing David Clackley to be hired for a part-time position with the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department.

•Approved a resolution nominating Tom Brown for re-appointment to the Mental Health Board of Chilton and Shelby counties, effective April 1.

•Approved a resolution nominating Hollis Jackson for re-appointment to the board of directors of the Mental Health Board of Chilton and Shelby counties, effective April 1.

•Approved Caton to sign the certifications and assurances for the Chilton County Transit Department.

•Approved adding Gerald Mims to the capacity of chief deputy for the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department payroll, effective Jan. 20.

•Was invited to attend the swearing in ceremony of Shearon scheduled for Jan. 20 at 11 a.m. with a reception immediately following.

•Voted to allow Kitty Stasyszyn to advertise to hold a public hearing regarding the closing of a portion of County Road 379.

•Approved a request from the Chilton County Road Department to advertise and hire a laborer to fill a vacancy, due to an employee who recently left.

•Approved a second request from the Chilton County Road Department to hire a truck driver to fill a vacancy from the pool of applications used a month ago.

Commissioners said they would like to see the position posted again to allow interested candidates the opportunity to re-apply, if needed.

•Approved a request from Chilton County Parks and Recreation Director Gerald Arrington to replace flooring at the park ranger’s house at Higgins Ferry.

•Scheduled a work session for Feb. 3 at 9 a.m. with department heads throughout the county to talk with them about formulating job descriptions and pay scales.

•Scheduled a work session for 30 minutes after the Jan. 26 meeting to discuss revenue at the request of commissioner Heedy Hayes.