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Thieves get “stuck in the mud”

This house on Blakes Ferry Rd is under foreclosure and has no tenants presently living there.

blakes ferry 4802b When Lineville Police Department received a phone call that there a suspicious vehicle at this residence, they responded to find a white van not only still there, but stuck in the mud in the back yard. The suspects, husband and wife, told the police they were there looking for a house in the country, but there were suspicions they had been there for a while. When the officers ran the suspects information,  they found out that there were outstanding warrants on one of them. The suspects were then taken into custody.

City of Ashland moves forward with grants to aid in Wellborn’s expansion

Ashland City Council met Monday, February 1, 2016 for their regular bi-monthly meeting with a lengthy agenda.

The biggest topic of discussion was whether to pursue two grants for the expansion of Wellborn Cabinets, Inc. that will add as many as 200 jobs for the county.  One is the  ALDOT Industrial Access grant, which will cover the cost of the construction and re-location that will include adding a center turn lane and a right turn lane to the Hwy 77 area in front of Wellborn’s. This has an estimated cost of $1.5 million to be covered by grant funds at no cost to the city.

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The other CDBG grant, needed to fund the movement of utilities along with the road, resulted in a lengthy discussion. The total amount to be applied for will not exceed $750,000, but an accurate amount cannot be disclosed at this time because it is unknown how much this project will cost. The biggest concern was whether the city of Ashland would be held liable for any matching funds required with this grant. Technically, the city would be held responsible, but Wellborn’s has signed an agreement stating they would cover any amount the city is held responsible for. For instance, if the amount of jobs Wellborn’s is trying to add is not met, the city will be held liable at $5,000 a head for the amount of jobs that fall short. However, Wellborn’s has said that if the expense of moving the utilities falls on the burden of the city, the project will be killed and all grants can be withdrawn at any time.

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Council member Brad Wolfe stated that although he would like to see this project move forward, he was reluctant to pursue these grants until he understood the cost associated with the utility companies involved ( East Central Gas & Ashland Water) . “I want Wellborn to expand and grow, but there is no way that I will put the citizens of Ashland on the hook for any monies that could be reflected from a rate increase of these utility companies as a result of this project at hand” said Wolfe. Wellborn adminstration present assured Wolfe that if there was no grant, there would be no project.

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After being satisfied that owner of East AL Gas, Irving Thompson and Ashland Water Brent Wheeler was comfortable with moving forward,  Council members gave the Mayor the authority to add the item to the agenda to be voted on.

Council Member Gail Thompson reported work on the new City Hall was in progress. and was looking good.  The maintenance dept. had begun removing carpet and getting everything ready for the painter, she had been in contact with someone about the new signage and the placement,  the drive-thru window has ran some of the tubing so far, and a glass partition would be installed soon for the protection of city employees.

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Wolfe, who did not support the purchase of this building to begin with,  again questioned the amount of monies being put into the  renovation of the building . ” We just seem to be spending a lot of money and we don’t know where this is going to end either” said Wolfe.

Ordinances and Resolutions introduced and adopted consisted of the following:

  • Oridnance-Amending a section of former Ordinance 2007-10-15-01-City of Ashland’s Policy and Procedures Manual
  • Ordinance- Establishing the use of electronic vote counting devices
  • Ordinance- establishing voting site of Ashland City Hall for absentee voting for the municipal option election for the wet/dry vote.
  • Resolution- to appoint election officers (poll workers) for municipal option election.
  • Resolution- setting poll hours from 7:00 am-7:00 pm at the Wynn Building on March 1, 2016 for the municipal option election.
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Other items approved on the agenda included:

  • Approval of minutes
  • Pay current bills
  • Approval to submit the Industrial Access Grant for the Hwy 77/Wellborn Cabinet, Inc. project
  • Approval to re-schedule a regular council meeting set for May 16, 2016 to May 18, 2016, due to conflicts with the Annual League Convention.
  • Approval for Mayor Larry Fetner, City Clerk/Administrator Chelsey Wynn and Assistant Clerk Robin Catrett to attend the Annual League Convention on May 13-17, 2016 in Huntsville, AL and to reimburse them for travel expenses.
  • Approval for a dispatcher to open and answer phones at Ashland City Hall on May 13, 16, and 17, 2016, while the City Hall staff attend the Annual League Convention.
  • Approval for Police Chief Joseph Stanford and Records Clerk Linda Parkhill to attend training in Vestavia Hills on Feb. 3, 2016 at total costs of $390.00 and to reimburse them for travel expenses.
  • Approval to repair the electrical system, blower motor, and water pump on the 2005 Police Chevy Tahoe at an estimated cost of $600.00
  • Approval to purchase 8 tons of coal mix for the Maintenance Department to repair pot holes at a cost of $864.00
  • Approval to register and pursue FEMA grants for the damage done during recent flooding.
  • Approval to hire Gerald Weems as a Seasonal/Part time Maintenance effective March 15, 2016-October 31, 2016 at a rate of $9.50 per hour, not to exceed 29 hours per week.
  • Approval of lease agreement on Industrial Park between the City of Ashland and Gary Martin for agricultural purposes.
  • Approval for auto repairs on the 2012 Dodge Charger of $385, which includes replacement of the water pump.
  • Approval for Roofing and paint repairs of the T-ball Concession stand at a cost of $305.00.
  • Approval for Safeguard to inspect and re-certify fire extinguishers, in addition to purchasing new ones for the new City Hall and new John Deere tractor.
  • Approval to pursue the CDBG grant for funding to cover the costs of moving utilities for the re-location of the road along Hwy 77 for the expansion of Wellborn Cabinets.

 

 

Lineville Council adopts Ordinance to prevent future drug rehab facilities within the city; discuss election

The Lineville City Council met Monday, February 1, 2016 for their regular scheduled session. The biggest topic of conversation was the upcoming municipal optional election of a wet/dry referendum. There were two resolutions and one Ordinance adopted concerning the election. The ordinance adopted was establishing use of the electronic vote devices to be used in the election, also the same ones they have used for years.

Another Resolution adopted was to set the polling hours, which will lc 6be from 7:00 am-7:00 pm on March 1, 2016.  The other resolution was naming the poll workers. The site of this election will be at the former Kindergarten Building of the old Lineville Elementary School. A  Run-Off Election will be held April 12, 2016, if necessary. Absentee ballots are available at the Lineville City Hall for anyone who wants to vote on-site. You must have a photo I.D.  present and only those registered voters who live within the city limits are allowed to vote in this election.

In the prior planning session, Council member Robert Milstead was interested in seeing figures from other cities who had gone wet to see if it had actually benefited the city or hurt them financially or statistically. He thought information such as this would be useful to the public so it could be a deciding factor in their vote. “Basically, each person needs to base their decision on what is right for them, but it’s not a cure-all for the economic problems that we have”, said Milstead. Mayor Adamson said that if it did go wet, it was important to have ordinances in place in order to control matters and protect the public.

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Another Ordinance introduced and adopted was to eliminate the possibility of any drub/alcohol rehabilitation center from ever setting up shop in downtown Lineville in the future in order to protect the citizens. This Ordinance prevents any facility of this nature to be established within 1500 feet of any school, daycare, pharmacy, or any other place that sells alcohol, narcotics, or any other mind-altering substance, as well as any residential district or area.

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This Ordinance comes after speculation of  women who are reportedly being housed at the former Twin Oaks facility who are under court-ordered drug rehab facility housing. The uses of this facility have remained under mysterious terms, and the name has changed several times.  At present time, it is called Grace Ministry & Recovery for Women, and it is being told that it is a shelter for battered and abused women. However, there are women staying there who are under court-ordered drug rehab, according to sources. To date, this facility does not have a business license, nor have they been inspected by the Health Department or the Fire Marshal. There have been many attempts from the city to catch someone on this property for answers with no luck.

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Lineville Merchant Association President Barbara Pollard and Secretary Linda Ellis was present on behalf of the Association to ask for the Council members’ help in distributing flyers with downtown Lineville attractions to surrounding counties in hopes to draw in more people. Pollard also inquired about possibly getting the names of some of the downtown building owners that are vacant to clean up their buildings so the town would look more attractive. Pollard explained that the Association would like to extend some financial help to these owners with the assistance of these renovations.

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Council member Milstead also thanked the Lineville Police Department for their assistance in an auto accident, where his family was hit by a drunk driver in the center of town. There were no injuries in this accident.

The meeting was then adjourned.

Editors Note: It is my understanding that some of the city employees and administration are really being bombarded about allowing this wet/dry vote to take place. Please understand NO ONE can stop this election from happening. Once a city has been petitioned, it means the people have spoken, so an election MUST take place. Also, I have had people state that we would lose funding for remaining a dry county. Please note that these funds are given to the COUNTY for being dry. If the MUNICIPALITIES go wet, this funding will still continue to come to the county and will NOT be lost. 

 

Clay County Chamber Annual Meeting Held Feb. 11th. Members: Your votes are needed for upcoming awards

What’s going on with your local Chamber, you ask? Well, Chamber Executive Tiffany Young  is very excited to announce the The annual meeting is quickly approaching and while tickets are still available, the February 3rd deadline is just around the corner. Seating is limited and tickets will NOT be available for purchase at the door.

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This year’s guest speaker will be Christian Entertainer Lee McBride, who  will entertain those in attendance with his witty, yet spiritual stories . The event will be held at the Central High School Cafeteria on Thursday, February 11, 2016 beginning at 6:30 pm. This event will feature the Chamber’s most prestigious awards of

  • Business of the Year
  • Business Person of the Year
  • Volunteer of the Year

Each Chamber member can cast your vote for  each of these awards through email, facebook messenger (to their page), or by phone.   Please contact Tiffany for ticket information by calling 256-396-2828 or email: claychamber@gmail.com.

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Each month, Tiffany attends both Lineville and Ashland Council meetings to update them on any monthly activities. On January 17, 2016, Tiffany reported one new Chamber member, Lineville Fitness. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for its newest member on January 11th.

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Tiffany announced the newest circulation of Board members, as it was time for the old ones to roll off. They are as follows:

  • President- Brad Strother
  • Vice President- Tim Worthy
  • 2nd Vice President- Stephen Young
  • Secretary/Treasurer- Brittany Freeman
  • Representing Ashland- Doug Hallman
  • Representing Lineville- Debbie Whatley
  • Representing County- Jeff Hill

Clay County Chamber does everything in their power to promote local events, as well as highlight their members’ businesses, through social media, etc. You can follow their facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/ClayCoALChamberOfCommerce/

You can also keep up with all the upcoming events on their website: http://alabamaclaycounty.com/

Throughout this last year, the  Chamber has hosted such events as Movie Night at the Park and Learn for Life Workshops. If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact Tiffany Young.

In closing, I would just like to say I think its very important that our Chamber has the support of  this county, because when everyone bands together, big things can happen for Clay County, which makes everyone a winner.

 

Single Vehicle Crash results in air-lift

Sunday, Jan, 24, 2016: A single-vehicle crash on County Rd 57 in Randolph County resulted in two injuries.

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The accident occurred at 8:30 p.m. when the driver of the vehicle stated that she swerved to miss a deer, which caused her to leave the roadway and lose control.

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The driver was Debra Sue Wilson, 54, of Lineville. She was driving a 2015 Nissan Rogue. She was transported to Wedowee ER. Timothy Goodman, 57, of Lineville was a passenger and he was transported by Air-Evac to UAB in Birmingham.

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There are no updates on their conditions at this time. Pine Grove Volunteer Fire Department also worked this scene.

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City of Ashland sets date for wet/dry vote

The Ashland City Council held a special called meeting to pass a resolution for the city of Ashland to hold a Municipal option election to determine the sentiment of the citizens as to whether or not alcoholic beverages could be legally sold or restricted within the city limits. This resolution was passed with a unanimous vote.

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This election comes after being petitioned for a wet/dry referendum was turned into City Hall with the total of 141 valid registered voters living inside the city limits. This total of names was over the 30% of registered voters who turned out for the last municipal election held. The date for the election will fall on the Primary Election date of March 1, 2016 at the Wynn Building.

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Commission meets to discuss the future of Mellow Valley Park

The Clay County Commission met Thursday, January 21, 2016 for a special session. The main focus of this session was get the Mellow Valley park back into ADECA guidelines, so that the county would still be eligible for recreation and land and water conservation funds grants from ADECA in the future.

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EADPC Representative Dianne Glen was present to assist the Commission with any questions of understanding they might have concerning this matter. Glen stated a Resolution needed to be passed to submit a corrective action plan to remedy the deficiencies in the park as identified by ADECA and to assure them the park would be brought up to their standards and maintained in the future.

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in 1977, the initial grant was for $54,647. 46,  with  matching funds from the commission for the establishment of the Mellow Valley park. These funds were used to purchase the 5 acres of land for the park, as well as playground equipment, tennis courts, pavilions, fencing, lighting, basketball court, baseball/softball fields, etc. According to the original paperwork, The land can never change ownership and must be maintained by the county in perpetuity.

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Glen explained there were a couple of options the county could look into that could possibly help with maintaining the property on a long-term basis, such as the enter into a management agreement plan with an organization who would agree to maintain the park and land on a regular basis. Example: Mellow Valley Alumni Association

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Another was to request a declaration of obsolescence on some of the equipment in the park area, such as playground equipment, tennis courts, basketball goals, etc., possibly taking these areas and just turning them into parking areas or even green space.

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And finally, the establishment of a Mellow Valley Recreation Board or Committee to ensure park maintenance was taken care of on a regular basis, with the county overseeing it.

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Commissioner Ray Milstead reported he had the maintenance crew go down to the park and clean it up already, by cutting the grass and trimming the trees back.

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In the end, a motion and a second was passed to move forward with a corrective action plan in order to become in compliance with ADECA in order to apply for other grants and look into the declaration of obsolescence for some of the equipment. At this time, the county is currently suspended from any more grants for this park until it is brought back into ADECA standards.

The only other item on the agenda was moving the Chairman seat from Ray Milstead to Roy Johnson.