Storm shelter coming to Thorsby

Published 3:44 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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The construction of a storm shelter and community safety room was officially approved during the Thorsby Council meeting on July 17.

It is the next step in a process that has been about six years in the making, ever since the previous shelter was deemed to no longer meet the safety specifications.

The approved bid was from Aqua Marine Enterprises Inc. and is for one aboveground structure that will be 30 feet by 30 feet in size.

The proposed plan meets all specifications and design criteria established by FEMA.

The shelter will include one 8KW emergency generator, lighting, receptacles and a restroom facility.

The cost of the project will be $124,500 with the Town of Thorsby providing 25 percent of that total, with the option to be paid over time.

Four members of the Thorsby FFA were on hand along with their agriculture teacher Brian Lucas.

Rianna Green, Kristin Morrison, Rylie Scarbrough and Rosa Hernandez-Contreras each took a moment to speak to the Council members about the experience they have had as part of the FFA program.

The program produced five state champions and will be sending 19 students and four teams to compete for a national championship in Indianapolis in October.

“There’s very few people that can say that,” Lucas said. “I’ve always said that these kids are special if you give them the opportunity. They don’t disappoint.”

According to Green, putting in the work ethic required to be on one of the FFA teams has shaped her into who she has become as a person and a student.

“I’ve gotten a new [FFA] family this past year,” Hernandez-Contreras said.

Lucas mentioned how as the success of the program continues to grow, unfortunately so does the monetary value required to compete.

The first year they competed at the national level the trip cost $5,000. This year Lucas expects the amount of money needed to be raised will be around $30,000.

The Council approved $1,200 to be given to the FFA to help fund their trip, which is equivalent to $300 per team.

In other news from the meeting, the Council:

  • Approved the hiring of William Hayes and Nick Turner as employees with the road department.
  • Approved not to sign a request for a mutual aid agreement from Regional Paramedic Services.
  • According to fire chief Lee Gunn, the Thorsby Fire Department is already beginning preparation process for its annual Santa Run in December.
  • Approved the minutes from the previous meeting on July 3.
  • Approved the bills and transferred the funds.
  • Approved the minutes from the planning commission meeting on June 6.