Clanton Council addresses equipment needs

Published 10:16 am Tuesday, February 14, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

CLANTON — Equipment needs were the major topic of discussion during the Clanton City Council’s Feb. 13 meeting.

The council unanimously approved purchasing a John Deere sidecutter. Council member Mary Mell Smith was absent.

Mayor Billy Joe Driver said the city was “in dire need of another tractor with a side cutter before spring time.”

The tractor will be purchased on a national bid for a little more than $120,000. Driver said the oldest tractor in use was 15 years old and was no longer reliable.

Purchasing a new vehicle for the fire department was also discussed, but a vote was delayed until the next meeting. At that time, the council will be presented a cost comparison for buying a pickup truck versus purchasing an Expedition.

Fire Chief David Driver had requested a Ford F150 costing $33,859. The vehicle would allow the department to have another vehicle for medical runs. The medical van currently at Station One will be moved to Station Two.

“We are just trying to keep the wear and tear down on it,” Driver said. “We got it for about $150,000 – $160,000, so we are going to try to make it last a little longer.”

Councilman Sammy Wilson commented the budget had funds for a medical van.

“It was supposed to be, but we really don’t need anything as extravagant,” Driver said.

The budget had approved $75,000 for a medical vehicle.

The fire chief said the department did not need the full medical van because it already has the equipment, including extrication equipment. The truck would cost significantly less.

“Something smaller here for just around town will do just fine,” Driver said.

Driver said he had not decided whether the purchased vehicle would be used or whether he would swap it with the Expedition he was driving, depending on which vehicle would work better. Councilman Jeffrey price said the new vehicle should be the one used as the medical vehicle. Having the extra vehicle will put extrication at each of the three fire stations. Two of the sets are currently in vehicles at one station.

Using the pickup truck would require enclosing the back. Price asked why the department was not getting an Expedition, which is already enclosed.

Councilman Awlahjaday Agee recommended the department come back with the cost for each vehicle before a vote is made.

Emergency vehicle lights will be added to whichever vehicle is ultimately purchased.

Also during the meeting, the council approved:

— Craig Headley as a full-time employee, and hiring Gabe Gray, Cody Minor, Patrick Christofides and Pate McCullough for part-time in the summer at the city parks.

— Arthur Johnson to fill an empty sanitation position.

— paying Vanessa McKinney for 10 hours a week of work at the Senior Connection to supplement her pay. McKinney is paid for 30 hours from the Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging.

— declaring four printers the Clanton Police Department no longer uses to be surplus property and donating them to the Chilton County Sheriff’s office.