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Town searches for next grant writer

By Anthony Richards | anthony.richards@northchiltonadvertiser.com

The town of Thorsby is in need of a grant writer and was introduced to a possible candidate in Kelley Taft with The Kelley Group during Monday’s Town Council meeting.

Mayor Jean Nelson asked Taft to attend the meeting and introduce herself to the other members of the Council.

The Kelley Group is an engineering firm that is operated by Taft and her husband. Taft has worked as a consultant with about 30 towns in Alabama.

“We specialize is small towns,” Taft said.

Taft advised the Council to create a “wish list” that will be used to determine the grants that will be sought after and is a more efficient method of keeping track of the finances.

“It helps to see the big picture and have overall goals in mind,” Taft said. “Even if you don’t work with me, have a plan and stick with it.”

Glenn Littleton raised an example of the town adding fire hydrants, which would be taken care of by the town’s engineer. In that case, Thorsby would only need Taft as a grant writer.

Those types of situations are normally handled on a case-by-case basis, Taft said.

“If you’re spinning your wheels, it’s always good to get a second opinion,” Taft said.

The rest of the Council had no more questions for Taft, and a decision has yet to be made on the matter.

“We do need a grant writer, and it was nice to meet you,” Nelson said.

Discussed during the meeting was the paving project that is soon to take place on a stretch of road between James Street and County Road 50.

According to Director of Public Works Terry Jackson, the manholes will have to be raised three inches, which means that they will have to rebuild the shoulders of the road.

Jackson also reminded the Council that the annual review of the town’s sewer system is coming up.

Fire Chief Lee Gunn informed the Council that a fire that took place at a home on Franklin Street is expected to be cleared in the next couple of weeks.

Gunn also reaffirmed that Nick Watley turned in his resignation from the fire department.

“I hate to see Nick go, but I understand where he’s coming from,” Gunn said.

Police Chief Rodney Barnett did not have anything to add during the meeting.