County makes emergency proclamation in wake of storms

Published 12:35 pm Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Chilton County Commission unanimously passed a proclamation of emergency conditions at its teleconference meeting April 28.

The proclamation was made after a series of storms rolled through Chilton County the previous weekend, leaving damage to structures, roads and trees in places like Thorsby, Collins Chapel and Gap of the Mountain.

Chairman Joseph Parnell said the Chilton County EMA is working with other agencies to assess the damages caused by the severe weather.

Making the proclamation may aid Chilton County in receiving FEMA grants to help with the cost of cleanup and rebuilding.

“Chilton County needs an assessment of $168,000 or more in damage to public works assets in order to qualify,” Parnell said.

He said County Engineer Tony Wearren was quantifying the cost to the county.

Parnell said that the county road department had allowed the use of some of its equipment to aid with the cleanup efforts in Thorsby. He said several local municipalities, including Clanton, Jemison, Maplesville and Calera, have sent people to aid in the cleanup effort.

“It was amazing how many people were out in the rain helping open things up after the storms,” Parnell said. (It makes you proud to be a part of this community.”

Commissioner Jimmie Hardee mirrored Parnell’s sentiments and took the opportunity to commend and thank the myriad of volunteers and agencies who have worked together to aid the affected areas.

“It makes me proud of Chilton County,” he said, “everybody working together like a team.”

The Commission voted to allow Raps CStore, Inc, operating as Grab N Go/Cork & Bottle, to continue its application to the state in the effort to obtain a license to sell alcohol.

The measure passed 5-1, with Hardee voting against.

The Chilton County Sheriff’s Office requested the Commission approve the expenditure of $48,298.58 for various upgrades to the Chilton County Jail. The funds will come from the Jail Maintenance Fund. The measure passed unanimously.

The Commission also passed a request by the Sheriff’s Office to make a line-item transfer of funds from salaries to overtime due to extended hours worked recently by deputies due to the aforementioned storms.

There were also corrections to the pay rates of five corrections officers from $13 an hour to $12. The $13 figure had been listed at a meeting in March but was incorrect.

In other business, the Commission unanimously approved a measure to give Revenue Commissioner Tim Little permission to advertise two new job postings. Parnell said these will not be additional employees but replacements for people who have already left the role.

Wearren requested and was granted permission to change the start date of a full-time mechanic from April 15 to May 4. The change is related to COVID-19 and the statewide stay-at-home/safer-at-home order.

In other business, the Commission approved the minutes from the April 14 meeting and approved paying the bills.