Council discusses need for new facilities
by Rachel Davis
Jan 16, 2013 | 1476 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SUMITON — Sumiton Fire Chief David Waid addressed the Sumiton City Council on Tuesday regarding the progress he would like to see toward the city’s new fire station. Waid reminded the council the current station has been falling in since shortly after it’s construction in the 1980s, is pouring water inside and requires constant maintenance and repairs to keep the doors operational.

The broken doors could potentially delay the fire department’s response to an urgent call. The department responded to more than 1,100 calls last year.

“I need to get started on this fire station,” Waid said.

Waid asked that the council to approve site testing for the new property on Bryan Street near the community center.

Mayor Petey Ellis and the city council agreed that the fire station was the most pressing need for the city, but were still looking at possibly acquiring adjacent properties that could impact the layout and plan development.

“I want this done as much as anybody,” Ellis said. “But we don’t really want to put a footprint there and then acquire this and say well we could have done that. That’s my sole purpose. It’s not ‘if’ it’s going to be done, it’s ‘when’ it will be done.”

Waid said he would like to look at modeling the station after an existing station in Arab, which would save the city on architectural and engineering costs.

Assistant Police Chief Scott Karr also urged the council to consider a new facility for the police station, The current police station is struggling to hold the population and issues with the facility have caused two floods inside the jail recently.

Council member Bill Fowler said his concern was the funding, although he recognized that the city has departments that have far outgrown their current facilities.

He said the city will have to look for sources of revenue that will help cover the cost.

“We know it’s going to take additional funds from somewhere to facilitate all of this that we’re talking about,” Fowler said. “We are going to have to think long and hard about that situation. It’s for our citizens and foremost we are elected to do the work of the people. But, without money sources, we can sit here and talk about what the needs are day in and day out, but without the financial resources we’re bobbing up and down. We’re going to really have to consider a new source.”

In other business:

•Karr also said that the police department has been actively involved at the schools and have been going to Sumiton Elementary/Middle School and Sumiton Christian School to help them develop plans for emergency situations. He also said that Sumiton officers will be going by the schools to eat lunch and walk the halls periodically. This will allow the teachers and faculty to become familiar with the officers and to allow the officers to learn the layout of the schools.

•The council approved resolutions to authorize Mayor Petey Ellis to enter into contracts with Community Consultants for administrative services and Nelson Engineering for engineering services related to the construction of the city’s walking track. The project will be paid for largely by a grant from Rails to Trails.

•The council approved $2,500 for the Sumiton Library’s annual summer reading program.

•The council approved a beer and wine license for Walgreens at the intersection of Highway 78 and Bryan Road.