Grant funding could help expand full-time fire stations in Clanton

Published 10:12 am Friday, March 10, 2023

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

The Clanton City Council is set to consider authorizing a grant application to pursue funding to expand the full-time personnel of the Clanton Fire Department.

The grant was discussed during a work session on March 9.

If approved, the department would be applying to FEMA’s SAFER grant to fund nine employees for three years. City clerk Jonathan Seale said the grant would fully fund the positions with zero matching funds required from the city.

Mayor Jeff Mims said securing the grant would add three positions to the downtown station, which is already staffed 24/7, and provide personnel to have a second station staffed full-time.

A vote on the grant application will be made at the March 13 council meeting at 5 p.m. at city hall. The grant program is competitive, so there is no guarantee of funding.

A separate grant application is being worked on to fund two ambulances and a fire truck that the city has already ordered. The council had decided to go ahead with the purchase since it would be more than a year before the vehicles would be available, and payment would not be due until then.

Also on the agenda for the March 13 meeting are two rezoning requests that had their first public reading on Feb. 27. The first request is to change 1901 Seventh St. N from R-3 Multi-Family Residential District to B-3 Neighborhood Business District. The second request is to change a piece of property on U.S. Highway 31 South from R-1 Single Family Residential to B-2 General Business District.

During the work session, the council also heard updates from Mims on upgrades scheduled for lighting for Interstate 65 and relocating the sanitation department. Mims also let the council know about equipment that the city was able to secure for the Senior Center on Enterprise Road to continue supporting its Meals on Wheels program.

Council member Wade Watley expressed concern from residents on Grant Street about log truck noise at 3 or 4 a.m. Seale confirmed that the street was a part of an ordinance that the city passed last year prohibiting tractor trailer traffic on residential streets. This ordinance allows the police department to put up a sign on the road prohibiting truck traffic.