Mayor James “Pee Wee” Richardson asked members of the Carbon Hill City Council who were in attendance (District 1 Councilman Billy Wright, District 3 Councilman Terry Mason, District 4 Councilman Ken “Sarge” Blankensopp, District 5 Councilman Chris Pschirer and District 6 Councilman Jimbo Bray) to consider rehiring Keiffer Guthrie back as a full-time police officer for the Carbon Hill City Police Department.
After several moments of silence following the mayor’s request and prodding on the matter, Bray finally made a motion to vote on re-hiring Guthrie which Mason seconded. Then Wright, Mason and Blankensopp voted to hire Guthrie, while Pschirer and Bray voted against the hiring.
The mayor also asked the council to consider hiring Douglas Roden as a full-time officer for the city’s police department. Mason made a motion to hire Roden; Wright seconded the motion, and all five council members present voted unanimously for the hiring.
The council also voted to promote the acting police chief of the Carbon Hill Police Department, Ron Colburn, to chief and the acting assistant police chief, Matt Dozier, to assistant chief. Council members Wright, Mason, Pschirer, and Bray voted yes, while Blankensopp voted against the measure.
In other business, the council:
•Voted unanimously to send Carbon Hill City Clerk Kim Sides to the court clerk training being held in Montgomery in May.
•Approved the purchase of six new dumpsters, which will be placed at businesses in the city. The cost for the dumpsters is $6,956. Richardson said the money for the dumpsters would come from the Garbage Fund and Pschirer was the only council member who voted against it.
•Mason thanked the street department for doing such a wonderful job in cleaning up all the limbs and debris left behind by the recent storms which blew through Carbon Hill and Walker County over the past few weeks.
He also announced that the Carbon Hill High School Blue Wave Band will be hosting a Drive For Pride fundraiser on Saturday, April 6, in the parking lot at Bill and Sons in Carbon Hill to help raise money to purchase uniforms for the band.
“The folks at Chrysler are bringing some of their vehicles here for folks to test drive, and for every test drive the Chrysler Corporation will donate $20 to the band,” Mason said. “The band has several new members and its current uniforms are getting old. We’re urging everyone to come out and test drive a car and help support our band.”
Mason said from what he understands there will be no sales pitches made to get anyone to purchase a vehicle, just test drives.
“It is only test drives, and all the money raised goes to the band,” Mason said. “I think the folks from the local Chrysler dealership will be on hand to help with the test drives, but you will have to go to the dealership to purchase one of the vehicles if you decide to buy one.”
Just before adjourning the meeting, Richardson gave an update on a bridge and road project. He said the project would cost a total of $2.2 million and the city is in the process of applying for a Community Development Block Grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs as well as some other grants to help cover the cost of the project.
“The city’s match to the CDBG grant will be between $50,000 and $60,000, and we have a number of people on our side who are working to help us secure the grants,” Richardson said. “I think it will be June before we hear anything back, but we have a number of folks on our side, so if everything works out, we’ll have grant money to redo the bridge and road on Alabama Highway 118 from the city of Carbon Hill up to the interstate.”
Anita Woods also addressed the council before it adjourned to offer her thanks to the Carbon Hill Volunteer Fire Department for their quick response to a fire that occurred at her home last Saturday around 5 a.m.
“I wanted to thank the fire department in person here at the council meeting,” Woods said. “I don’t know what we would have done had they not been there.”
Another citizen inquired about the well being of Carbon Hill District 2 Council member Anthony Hammond, who has been absent from a number of council meetings due to a number of health problems. Richardson said he had spoken with Hammond, who reported he was doing much better, but still not well enough to be out in public and attending the council meetings.
“Anthony has been in the hospital. He had pneumonia, but he is now back at home,” Richardson said. “I told him we all understood what his health problems were and when he got to where he could come back to his seat on the council, we would more than honored to have him.”