County updated about fumes from Stella-Jones

Published 1:59 pm Monday, November 30, 2015

Chilton County Commissioners were updated about a situation regarding foul smelling fumes coming from Stella-Jones in Clanton.

During the regularly scheduled meeting Nov. 23, Commission Chairman Allen Caton said he met with county administrator Connie Powell and a representative from Stella-Jones Inc. regarding the issue that was brought up at the Nov. 9 meeting.

“We had a really good meeting,” Caton said. “There is no cure for the odor problem, but they are working on some different things. One thing they are trying is a cherry substance that would help with the smell.”

Residents who live near Stella-Jones told commissioners on Nov. 9 that fumes coming from the plant were making people sick.

Stella-Jones Inc. is a producer and marketer of pressure-treated wood products.

Stella-Jones Inc. supplies North America’s railroad operators with railway ties and timbers, and the continent’s electrical utilities and telecommunication companies with utility poles.

Stella-Jones also provides residential lumber to retailers and wholesalers for outdoor applications, as well as industrial products for construction and marine applications.

The 400,000-square-feet facility is located on 100 acres at the Chilton County Industrial Park, north of Clanton.

The Canadian company completed the acquisition of Boatright Railroad Product, with railroad tie treatment facilities in Clanton and Montevallo in May 2014.

Residents who spoke to the commission said the issue had been going on for over a year, and residents spoke with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

ADEM said the company was not breaking the law, the residents told commissioners.

Commissioner Shannon Welch said he spoke with a representative of Stella-Jones, and the company was hoping to implement a scentless process Nov. 13.

Caton said the representative he met with said the company was working on the issue.

“I also spoke with the people who came to the meeting the last time, and they haven’t had any issues the last few weeks,” Caton said. “Everything seems to be better.”

In other news, the commission:

•Tabled a request from EMA director Derrick Wright to relocate a city weather siren from an area at the old fairgrounds location to the Rescue Squad Building. Commissioners said they did not have enough information to approve the request and would like to know more about moving a city weather siren before proceeding forward.

•Approved a resolution from county engineer Tony Wearren to have two vehicles declared surplus and sold on The two vehicles being declared as surplus are a CP-7 2001 Chevrolet C-10 pickup and a CP-8 2001 Chevrolet C-10 pickup.

•Approved a resolution authorizing Caton to sign an agreement with Volkert, Inc. for the “as-needed” use of an inspector should the number of RAMP projects in the county exceed the number of inspectors currently on staff with the county road department. Wearren told commissioners this would not cost the county any additional funds as the costs are built in with the cost of the projects.

•Approved a request from Chilton County Sheriff John Shearon to hire Trae Caton as a part-time employee, replacing Ken Gilliland.

•Approved a resolution to add Shelby Overton as a part-time employee filling a vacancy at the Chilton County Jail.

•Tabled a discussion regarding pay raises or a one-time bonus for employees with the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department. Commissioner Joseph Parnell brought up the discussion saying he wanted to talk about it with commissioners to see if there was a way to give a raise to employees in the department. Commissioners agreed to discuss the idea at the Dec. 14 commission meeting to give Powell time to figure out where the funds would come from.

•Approved Caton to look into a problem with the front doors to the Chilton County Courthouse leaking water when it rains. Powell explained that when it rains, and individuals open the front doors to the courthouse, water gets sucked inside creating a hazard at the front entrance. A company recommended installing a gutter to let the water flow away from the front entrance. The commission has a standing resolution that Caton can handle courthouse maintenance up to $15,000.