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Ashland Council Accepts Resignations, Open Positions

The Ashland Council held their very first meeting at the new location, the former PNC Bank. Mrs. Zeola Echols passing was recognized during invocation and prayers were sent out to her family. 13633355_10206031273493546_1811320264_o

The safety of the maintenance dept workers was discussed with the limb route, where some of the crew were having to pick up limbs in areas that could be potentially dangerous with oncoming traffic.  Police Chief Joseph Stanford said that he would be glad to get his on duty Officer to assist with traffic control when they were in these dangerous areas. The League of Municipalities has a strict policy to avoid getting on private property while performing this task, which is what created most of these safety concerns.

Council member Brad Wolfe was concerned with a issue in his district at the produce stand across the Blue & White. Wolfe said they needed to get in touch with the management at Dollar General to see if there was a better way to access that store. Wolfe said he had personally seen three severely busted water meters, which Wolfe learned had to replaced every couple of months by the Water Department. Stanford said the truck drivers had always used that particular road as an access route to the store as long as he could remember and it had also caused another problem with another businessman in the same area. ” Its a tough spot, a real tight area they are having to back for store access”, said Stanford, “It’s an area that needs to addressed but unsure of direction. Maybe possibly widening the road would help to get  those trucks some space to maybe maneuver in and out of that parking lot.”

“You just can’t continue to tear up somebody’s property and there not be an issue” said Wolfe. Fetner said that acting Maintenance Supervisor Jody Brown was working on some kind of solution for this, but that the trucker’s insurance is paying for these broken water meters that have to be replaced.”

On that note, Brown had inquired to the Mayor beforehand about getting more pay for being the acting Supervisor until someone was hired to fill that position. The council agreed to raise Brown’s pay to the same salary that former Supervisor Jeremy Nash was receiving, a  sum of $16.56, with no overtime, but will be reverted back to his original pay when someone was permanently hired for this position. Fetner said he was very pleased with the job that Brown was doing in this role. Nash is now employed with the Water Department.

Options for custodian to maintain all of the city buildings was briefly touched upon and it was decided to get some estimates from Cleaning Services and then come back to it at a later date.

Wolfe wanted to clarify that just because he wasn’t supportive of the new building purchase or approving any monies for improvements for City Hall along the way, did not mean that he didn’t think the new building wasn’t a good thing and was going to make a nice home for the city.

Stanford spoke of the Officer involved hostage situation that took place in Randolph County a couple of weeks, in which two of his Officers assisted in mutual aid. Stanford said with all the recent police shootings,  he had extensive conversations with his Officers on how they carried themselves and addressed various situations for safety reasons. Stanford did not that it was mandatory wear policy for bullet proof vests.

There was more discussion about the amount of monthly rent the Water Dept would pay in the new building, which had began at the previous meeting.

Catrett thanked the maintenance guys for their hard work in the move and also thanked the council for the new window partition because sometimes it was a safety issue during traffic court.

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Chamber Director Tiffany Young gave her monthly briefing to the Council. Young thanked everyone for attending the Chamber Office’s Grand Opening that took place on June 24, 2016, which was very well attended.” We are very pleased about having an Office again, and we believe it will help restore the communities faith in the Chamber”, said Young.

Young also reported attendance was down drastically at their free monthly movie night on June 24 and the Chamber had decided not to hold this event in August, until they could figure out how to boost attendance. The Chamber had one new member, Charter HR.

Young was also happy to announce the Chamber was partnering with the Ashland  Housing Development Corporation with the first annual Southeast Tiny Home Festival.  Accompanying her with his presentation on this event was AHA Executive Director Stan Gaither.

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As Gaither handed out an information packet to the council members, he explained this event would be held September 16, 17, 18th, 2016 at the Ashland Industrial Park located on hwy 9 N across from Airport Rd. The AHDC has leased the warehouse at the Economic Development site where the construction of these tiny homes will also take place in the future. Gaither said they were expecting a huge turnout of anywhere from 2500-4000 people over this weekend event. There will be numerous vendors at this festival and more details would be released at a later date.

Capping off this event, a tiny home shell ( exterior finished, interior ready to finish) valued at $15,000-$20,000 range will be given away by drawing to a lucky recipient.

tiny home giveaway

“We’re looking to expand our opportunities to do economic development that will benefit our community and to do this, we’re looking to venture into the tiny home manufacturing business”, said Gaither, “The tiny home market is one of the hottest emerging market trending in this country and we are hoping to bring some people and money into the county, which will  hopefully increase job and tax revenue here as well.”

Gaither encouraged everyone to support and promote this event through sponsorship and to hopefully bring in more foot traffic for the festival. This concluded Gaither’s presentation.

Tammy Meeks, from Air Med Care was there to make a presentation to the Council about the expense of a city-wide municipal site plan ( MSP), an offer  to the cities that would cover the residents who live within the city limits in the event they have a medical emergency and have to be flown out via lifesaver, which is a common thing here in Clay County. Any citizens participating in this MSP who have to be flown out from some medical emergency will have no out of pocket cost. Sometimes a life flight can cost anywhere from $25,000-$60,000.

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Meeks said in addition to city residents be being covered throughout Clay County, each household, regardless of size,  could also upgrade to full membership that would cover them in any other county or state they were visiting in, if they  had to be flown out, for just $35.00.

The city of Ashland’s cost that would cover all households within the city limits, would be $7909 annually. Fetner thanked Meek and said they would certainly consider this option when budget time came around.

Other agenda items approved were:

  • Accept resignation from Equipment Operator Jeremy Nash
  • Open Maintenance Position and advertise for two weeks and to also move Corey Robbins from part time maintenance employee to full-time position at starting pay for $8.24 hourly.
  • Accept resignation from part-time library worker, Tiffany Higgins
  • Approval to pay M2 Connections $3,989.87 for repair of fiber cables damaged in 2015.
  • Approval to hire Peyton England as part-time dispatcher, with a starting salary of $8.21 hourly.
  • Approval to purchase radiator for repairs in patrol car for $470.00

The Job description for Maintenance Supervisor was tabled, because they had not nailed down exactly what they were looking for, before advertising.

Resolution No. 07-18-01-2016 was adopted, which appointed City Clerk Chelsey Wynn as municipal election manager.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

 

 

 

 

List of Qualifying Candidates for Lineville/Ashland Municipal Elections

Qualifying has ended for the City of Ashland and Lineville municipal elections at 5:00 PM today.  These elections will be held August 23, 2016 in both cities and polls will be open from 7:00 am-7:00 pm. Ashland citizens will vote in the Wynn Building and Lineville’s will vote in the old Primary School Building below the old elementary school. If a runoff  election is needed, it will be held October 4, 2016. Only citizens who live inside the city limits are allowed to vote in these elections. Here is a list of your candidates:

Ashland

Mayor

  • Larry Fetner (Incumbent)
  • Jerry Bennett
District 1, Council
  • Joe Smith (Incumbent)
District 2, Council
  • Bobbie Steed (Incumbent)
  • Patty Munroe
District 3, Council
  • Kim Crist Cain
District 4, Council
  • Melissa Character
  • Ann Gaither
District 5, Council
  • Brad Wolfe (Incumbent)
  • Tommy Cantrell

hill auto web ad revised

Lineville

Mayor

  • Roy Adamson (Incumbent)
District 1, Council
  • Carolyn Smith (Incumbent)
District 2, Council
  • David Proctor (Incumbent)
District 3, Council
  • Joseph Appleby (Incumbent) 
  • Bobby Carter
District 4, Council
  • Robert Milstead (Incumbent)
District 5, Council
  • Johnny Appleby (Incumbent)
  • Lola Heflin

 

Board Appointments, Police Officer Hired at Lineville Council

The Lineville City Council met on Monday, July 18, 2016 for their regular session. All members were present with the exception of Robert Milstead.

Chamber Director Tiffany Young gave her monthly briefing to the Council. Young thanked everyone for attending the Chamber Office’s Grand Opening that took place on June 24, 2016, which was very well attended.” We are very pleased about having an Office again, and we believe it will help restore the communities faith in the Chamber”, said Young.

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Young also reported attendance was down drastically at their free monthly movie night on June 24 and the Chamber had decided not to hold this event in August, until they could figure out how to boost attendance. The Chamber had one new member, Charter HR.

Young was also happy to announce the Chamber was partnering with the Ashland  Housing Development Corporation with the first annual Southeast Tiny Home Festival.  Accompanying her with his presentation on this event was AHA Executive Director Stan Gaither. 

13702425_10206080122714746_698381578_oAs Gaither handed out an information packet to the council members, he explained this event would be held September 16, 17, 18th, 2016 at the Ashland Industrial Park located on hwy 9 N across from Airport Rd.The AHDC has leased the warehouse at the Economic Development site where the construction of these tiny homes will also take place. Gaither said they were expecting a huge turnout of anywhere from 2500-4000 people over this weekend event. There will be numerous vendors at this festival and more details would be released at a later date.

Capping off this event, a tiny home shell valued at $15,000-$20,000 range will be given away by drawing to a lucky recipient. 

tiny home giveaway

“We’re looking to expand our opportunities to do economic development that will benefit our community and to do this, we’re looking to venture into the tiny home manufacturing business”, said Gaither,”The tiny home market is one of the hottest emerging market trending in this country and we are hoping to bring some people and money into the county and hopefully increase job and tax revenue as well.” This concluded Gaither’s presentation.

Assistant Police Chief Shane Dunnagan recommended to employ Jeremy Parsons to the open position of patrol officer, effective August 15. Dunnagan explained Parsons had been with their Reserves program since 2014 and felt he would make a great addition to the department.  Council members approved his request.

 

Mayor Adamson reported he had contacted City Attorney, Keith Warren, about the complaint/request Diana Cline had inquired about at the last meeting. Cline had stated the activity at the vacant lot next to her house was causing problems with her utilities and was seeking answers from the city about what to do. Adamson said that their hands were pretty much tied with this activity on the lot, as long as no laws were violated. 

Adamson  told the council to be thinking about the presentation made by Air Evac Representative at the last council meeting, which involved insurance coverage for citizens who lived within the city limits of Lineville at a cost of $9000 a year to the city. This would include emergency airlifts at no cost to the citizen. Adamson thought it was worth looking into more with budget time coming up soon. 

Ad for Clay Co Web 71816

Council members approved the resignation of Brenda Farr from the Library Board and, in turn, approved Carolyn Smith’s recommendation to appoint Margaret Davis for the remainder of her term. Also appointed to this Board was Ginger Caldwell. This appointment was an addition to the Board, which makes a total of five (5) total members.

Council members also agreed accept the resignation of Charles Perry from the Park Board, and approved David Proctor’s recommendation to appoint Nancy Benefield to serve out the remainder of this term,

Resolution 7-18-2016, Transferring of Election Duties, was approved with no discussion. This resolution recognized City Clerk Cynthia Harris and City Administrator Donna Mathews as persons designated to perform the duties required in the upcoming  municipal election of City Officials.

The meeting was then adjourned.

 

 

Clay County 911 Partially Down Due to Lightning Strike

Clay County 911, which is housed in the Farmer’s Market, took a direct lightning hit over the weekend, resulting in major damage and hindering communication efforts through the facility. Lightning struck the building shortly around 1:30 PM early Saturday afternoon and the staff on duty began to smell smoke and some smoke was visible very shortly afterwards. Staff members immediately noticed that their call system and radios were down. Since there was no way to dispatch any emergency personnel to the scene, 911 Coordinator Derra Simmons called Lineville Police Department, who in turn, got Lineville Fire Department enroute to 911.

Simmons transferred all incoming 911 traffic to Clay County Sheriff’s Office and attempted to transfer admin lines to Lineville Police Department. Simmons then called the vendors who service the 911 equipment to get them enroute. 13711493_10206080137795123_68192182_o (1)

All Clay County volunteer fire department chiefs were notified of the problem, so they could know to expect a phone call in the event they were needed for an emergency. Responding to the scene were several County Commissioners, EMA, Lineville Fire and Police Dept, Clay County Rescue Squad.

Despite this issue, Simmons wants to assure everyone that this setback has not and will not cause any delays or conflicts with any emergency calls.  911 calls are being transferred through Randolph County until the call taking system can be repaired, which will hopefully take place today ( Tuesday, July 19). Clay 911 are still able to dispatch and answer their admin calls at this time.   Simmons said is grateful for the support they have received with this incident and hope everything is back up and running soon.

No watches or warnings were released for this storm. Other damage reported from this storm were several downed trees.

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On the same note, there were also several downed trees last Thursday night, July 14 around 6:30 PM. Assistant EMA Director  M.L. Irvin said there were calls of reports of trees down in the roads in the following areas:

  • Newbury Rd
  • Clairmont Springs
  • Skyview Rd
  • Apricot Rd & County Rd 31
  • Corinth Rd
  • Hanging Rock & Mountain View Rd
  • Hwy 9 Ashland across from hospital

Several volunteers and members of Idaho Fire Dept, along with a County Commissioners Roy Johnson and Wayne Watts responded to these scenes to help clear road blockage. Irvin stated there was never any watches or warnings for this storm either. The National Weather Service called it a cloud burst.

 

Mother & Child Survive 25 ft. Plunge off Bridge, Charges Filed

Update on this story: The driver of this vehicle and mother of 20 month old child, Nakita Hardy, has been charged with reckless endangerment and is also under investigation with DHR. 

The following is a press release issued by Lineville Assistant Police Chief, Shane Dunnagan: 

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Last Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at approximately 7:17 pm Lineville Police Department, Clay County Rescue Squad, and the Lineville Fire Department responded to a one vehicle accident on East College St. The vehicle was driven by a 29 yr old female and was also occupied by a 20 month old child. When the vehicle came to the one lane bridge on East College St., it struck the guard rail and went over the embankment down approximately 25ft to the railroad tracks.

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Through investigation, it was determined that this vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed when it came to the narrow bridge. Police, Fire, and Rescue responded to find the vehicle upside down beside the tracks.

CSX was notified to stop any trains coming on the tracks. Both the mother and the child were transported by the Clay County Rescue Squad to the hospital and released later with no life threatening injuries.  Details of the accident are still under investigation by police. Any further information will be released at a later date. 

Lineville Council Leases to HeadStart

The Lineville Council met Wednesday, July 6 for the regular meeting with two council members absent, David Proctor and Joseph Appleby.

Representatives from TCR ( Talladega, Randolph, Clay) Headstart  were present to discuss their plans for their expansion of services in their new location of the old Lineville Primary School. Both representatives stated they were excited about the possibilities this new location held for this program. This expansion of services will include eligible pregnant women to Pre-k services and will create a minimum of 15 jobs, possibly higher over an extended period of time.13646984_10206031276133612_568112028_o (1)

 

TCR has applied for a grant to perform renovations and improvement to this building to bring it up to code. The renovations proposed would allow more children to receive services, such as early head start center, a head start center, and a pre-k program at this location.  TCR explained they would be able to have vision, health and dental screenings for the children and also hope to expand their hours to accommodate parents who have to be at work at 6:00 am.  

TCR reps explained that as of right now, Clay County does not have an early HeadStart program and they were in a prime position to make this happen. The grant application TCR has submitted for these improvements will be awarded in February and TCR reps feel they are at an advantage due to location. Because it is such a rural community, Clay County will get extra points which means their grant would get priority over others.13499731_10205897861998342_1052505475_o

TCR also has plans to utilize the old Elementary School as well over time. Some of their future plans include:  the creation of a computer lab for parents or community members,  possibly bringing Gadsden Community College or Central Alabama Community College to be held for GED classes as well. ” HeadStart brings a lot of resources to the community and we are very excited about the community, especially serving infants and toddlers, because we understand that child care in Clay County is very limited. “We did a community assessment in the Lineville area here and we have multiple, multiple families that need infant and toddler care and we are thrilled to be able to provide this service”, says Kelly Mumper.

At present time, the Headstart program is located behind Perryland Foods and they have 28 children in pre-k and headstart. Reps explained their plan as of right now is to get the small building ( primary school) licensed, to hopefully get in there before the next calendar year begins in late August. If possible, the addition of an Early HeadStart program would open up 24 slots. They are hoping to get as much as $100,000 in start up funds to make this happen.

“We are so appreciative for this opportunity. This has never been about us trying to profit off the community, it’s always been about us being able to provide a service to the benefit the community. This is going to be a unique program to be able to start off serving pregnant women and then see that child all the way through the scope of a Pre-k program. When these children leave this program and go just across the street to elementary school, they should be ready mentally, socially, emotionally and cognitive in all aspects.” said Mumper.

Council members approved to enter into an agreement with HeadStart to lease them the property of old elementary school.

Tammy Meeks, from Air Med Care Evac, made a presentation to the Council about the expense of a city-wide municipal site plan, an offer  to the cities that would cover the residents who live within the city limits in the event they have a medical emergency and have to be flown out via lifesaver, which is a common thing here in Clay County. Any citizens participating in this MSP who have to be flown out from some medical emergency will have no out of pocket cost. Sometimes a life flight can cost anywhere from $25,000-$60,000.

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The city of Lineville’s cost that would cover 721 households out of the 967 households within the city limits, would be $9009.  The deficit of households not covered were due to other coverage and cannot cover medicaid patients. Meeks explained this payment could be broken down quarterly is preferred.  This plan does not charge for those households or residents not covered. MSP also offers the individuals in these household covered a full membership at the cost of $35 that would cover all members of the household wherever they traveled to, in the event of a medical emergency.

Mayor Adamson stated they would look into and discuss it further and get back to them with their decision.

With no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

 

 

 

Ashland Council discuss monthly rent with Water Dept; Police Chief gives reports

The Ashland Council met Tuesday, July 5, 2016 with only one member absent, Becky Boddie.

Representatives of the Water Department, Brent Wheeler and Dan Worthy were present to discuss a monthly sum their department would be responsible for in the new City Hall. At present, their monthly expenses are $385.00 at their current location, which included members of this department doing their own custodial work. Council member Gail Thompson stated a custodian or cleaning service would be needed at the new City Hall, that would also include cleaning the old City Hall and the Wynn Building as well.

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Mayor Fetner said he felt $500 a month would be a good well-rounded figure for the water department to pay and Mr. Worthy felt this figure would be adequate, but he would have to get with the other board members for their opinion. Wheeler felt that maybe the department could cover the water and sewer bill to possibly get that amount down to $400, because he hated to see that much of an increase for moving buildings because they weren’t really given a choice in the matter.

Fetner  stated they didn’t want to be a burden on the water department and Wolfe echoed his sentiments. ” I don’t want to burden the water department because it wasn’t their decision for the city to spend a tremendous amount on a new building and they were fine right where they were”, he went to  explain to Wheeler and Worthy: ” I dont want you guys to feel like you have no choice because the last thing we need is friction there. We work really well together right now and we need to keep that relationship. I don’t want you guys leaving here tonight thinking you have no options.”13663392_10206031273653550_2146693032_o

 

Thompson said to set a rate for three to five months and see how that rate works because they had no idea how much the utilities were going to run in the new building and then let the newly elected council discuss if this amount was fair after this length of time.

City Administrator said she had gotten some past power bills for the building and in the summer months it peaked at $2000, but over a 13-14 month period it averaged $1200-$1400.

In the end, it was agreed to draw up a business proposal of $400 monthly to take back to the Water Board for their approval. This amount also included the Water Dept providing water and sewer for the new facility as well.

Council members were given handouts of job descriptions of Maintenance Supervisor/Animal Control/Safety job to study before they searched for a new candidate for this position. Chief Stanford said there were several local places the future candidate could go to get certified. Stanford said his only concern was that animal control could get called out on weekends too, so he felt that they needed to visit having an alternate person for this area.

There was discussion of putting a fueling station at the Airport as well.

Committee Reports:

Thompson thanked the maintenance department, especially the City Hall girls, Chelsey, Morgan and Robin, whom she stated did an outstanding job, and thanked the East Central Alabama Gas as well. Thompson reported the signage was not up, but it is ordered and the drive-thru window is not completely finished yet, but that the “The City Hall is open and Ready for business”. 13633355_10206031273493546_1811320264_o

 

Wolfe said he had the opportunity to go for a ridealong with Officer Hubbard and he was impressed. ” You guys do a good job and I appreciate what you do.” directed towards Chief Stanford.

On that note, Stanford invited Mayor and all council members to ridealong as well to see what his guys were doing.  Stanford  also stated the dept. was down to two tasers, and wanted to look into purchasing more.

Stanford reported the AED ( automatic electronic defibrillator) and Trauma kits were in and sent in for reimbursement. Stanford was able to attain these seven (7) AED and six (6) trauma kits with funds through the State Department of Homeland Security, with the help of EMA Director Theresa Daughtery.

Four of the units will be issued to patrol officers, one unit will be placed in City Hall, another unit placed in the police department, and unit placed in the Library. These units could provide a person who is unresponsive a new chance at life.

The trauma kits will be issued to patrol in the event that they encounter someone with a serious wound, and they would be able do triage on the wounds.  12167926_10204440446963877_857933064_n

“We at the Ashland Police Department are always looking to provide new services to our citizens, and visitors. ” stated Stanford.

Stanford touched on the work release inmate escaping from Koch Foods. He said Koch Foods had identified some problems and not sure if the Department of Corrections have identified that there were some problems there too but he had intended on pointing some of them out with the leadership, because there was a fault somewhere when we have an escaped convict and knew nothing about until almost 18 hours later.

Stanford commended the Department of Corrections, Clay County Sheriff, Lineville Police Department, Cleburne County Sheriff Department,  ALEA supporting units, State Fire Marshall Office who were very instrumental in isolating the area the escapee was is in and keeping him there and apprehending him on Friday. Each of these Officers probably had about 31 hours total working on this case. “We were blessed to not have more incidents outside him just escaping and apprehending him” said Stanford.

Wynn thanked the maintenance department as well for working in such a timely manner to get them moved in to the new building. Wynn also reported the new playground equipment should be delivered by the end of July.

On that note, Fetner invited everyone to go visit the new beautiful building.

The following agenda items were approved:

  • Approval of current bills
  • Approval for Ashland Piggly Wiggly Alcohol application.
  • Approval for Jerry Phillips to serve on the Alcohol Review Board Committee to run concurrent with Mayor and Council term.
  • Accept resignation from City van driver, Vicky Shaddix.
  • Open and advertise Senior Center van driver position, starting at minimum wage at 20 hours per week.
  •  Purchase back up battery for server at a cost of $324.00.
  • $318.00 to replace air conditioner fan blower at City Hall.
  •  to hire commercial appraiser to get Water Building appraised at a cost of no more than $1500.

The following item agenda item was tabled until they could get more information:

  •  to pay M2 Connections $3,989.87 for repair to fiber cables caused by City Limb Truck in 2015.

The next meeting will be held at the new City Hall.