Commission approves two more SROs for county schools

Published 3:32 pm Wednesday, August 10, 2022

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

The Chilton County Commission approved two more school resource officers that they will help fund to protect the students in Chilton County at their meeting on Aug. 9.

The commission approved a resolution unanimously to bring on two more SROs, one LeCroy Career Technical Center and one to help protect the four Clanton schools — Clanton Elementary, Clanton Intermediate, Clanton Middle and Chilton County High School.

The Chilton County Board of Education is providing around $47,000 and the county is providing $14,000 for the cost for the new SROs. Uniforms and providing vehicles and gas to get to and from the schools will be provided by the county as well.

The BOE is providing $47,000 to each municipality for their SRO, and the municipalities are providing the remaining funds to cover the cost.

Each of the four municipalities, Maplesville, Jemison, Thorsby and Clanton, have each pledged their matching funds to help the BOE cover the cost of their SRO at their school, according to Commissioner Joseph Parnell.

“I am proud of the municipalities that we have and the help they are giving us, because without all of us working together it would be virtually impossible for all of us to afford this,” Parnell said. “The last thing any of us want is for there to be a shooting, and us know and live with the fact that we did not do everything we could to prevent it.”

This motion was spurred by a mandate by the Alabama state school board that school systems need to have SROs in their schools, but the state board did not offer any funding for them. The additional SROs will begin no later than January.

“I will never, as long as I am commissioner, allow a dollar amount to stand in the way of protecting our children,” Chairman Jimmie Hardee said. “None of us in this room would do that, none of us.”

The commission had a full quorum and went into executive session to begin the meeting for about 30 minutes. The session was to “discuss an incentives package in conjunction with the city of Clanton in a project,” according to Parnell.

More details will be discussed at the commission’s work session on Aug. 16.

The county closed nominations for the Chilton Water Authority vacancy. A resolution to appoint Julius Kelley to fill the spot with the term to end in August 2025 was approved unanimously.

The commission opened nominations for the Industrial Development Authority to fill two vacant spots on the board. Commissioner Randell Kelley nominated Richard Worthington, commissioner Allen Williams nominated Jaqueline Sullivan and Matthew Mims nominated Wade Connell. Nominations will continue at the next two commission meetings.

Nic Bolton with EMA requested a resolution for Hardee to sign the grant documents for three new storm shelters in the county. The county received three commitments for the shelters and a resolution was passed unanimously. Two of the shelters will be on Alabama Highway 155.

Commissioner Darrell Bone gave an update on the new ice machine at Higgins Ferry that it is at the park. After the machine is programmed, it will become operable.

Also, during the meeting the Commission:

  • Approved the Road Department to reclassify Eric Holsomback from operator 10 to operator 12, removing an employee from the litter pick up and advertising to hire a replacement laborer.
  • Approved the final plat for Pines on 97 subdivision by developer David Wendt and five line item transfers.
  • Approved the chairman to sign annual contract to provide services to DHR.
  • Approved the commission office to advertise for a public hearing for an alcohol license for Lawley Package.
  • Approved the EMA permission to seek a loan for an EMA vehicle.