SYLACAUGA, Ala. – The City of Sylacauga is set to purchase brand new patrol cars for the Sylacauga Police Department.

During the Tuesday night work session, Police Chief Kelley Johnson addressed the council about the possible purchase of ten, 2018 Ford Explorers for the department. Johnson said the current fleet of Dodge Chargers are constantly in-repair having already spent more than $76,000 on this year. The Dodges are out of warranty and any repair made now is out-of-pocket for the City.

The motion was approved at the council meeting unanimously (5-0) accepting the recommendation from Chief Johnson to purchase the vehicles. SPD has been given authority to spend up to $41,000 on each vehicle, financed at 3.7% totaling $410,165.00. The new purchases include all equipment that would come standard on the vehicles including new radars and lights.

“We’re going to purchase 10 new Ford Explorers and remove all the older vehicles off the road,” Johnson said. “They’re going to have a new stripe package and a different look that was chosen by our officers in the department.”

As many departments move from Dodges to Explorers or Chevrolet Tahoes, SPD chose the Ford model SUV because it felt it would be a better fit.

“Our city streets are smaller streets, and the Explorers are more maneuverable because they are a good bit smaller than the full size Tahoe,” the chief explained. “The Explorer just fits our needs better.”

Firefighter Scott Kines was recognized by Fire Chief Adam Gardner at the council meeting for his heroic efforts while off duty two months ago in Mexico Beach, Fla. A struggling beachgoer needed help and Kines was on-hand while on vacation with this family.

“We had only been on the beach for about ten minutes,” said Kines. He said his mother alerted him there was an emergency nearby. “I went down to help and it was my brother that was actually giving CPR to the guy and he had just pulled him out of the water.” Kines step-brother, Brian Thrasher, is a firefighter with Alabaster Fire Department.

Kines said the police arrived and so did the fire department. That’s when they placed him on a backboard, or stretcher, and placed him on an ATV until they could transfer a carryover to the local fire department.

The individual later passed away.

However, because of their selfless actions and determination to save a life, the state of Alabama recognized Kines, and his brother, with a commendation from both fire departments and signed by Alabama lawmakers. Kines said the honor caught him “off guard” stating he’s not in the business to get recognized for his heroic efforts. “I was a little shocked that the state of Alabama did that,” said Kines.

David Langham with INTL FCStone, addressed the council at the work session about ways to refinance bonds for the City including tax exempt status and cheaper interest rate. Langham explained there were several opportunities for Sylacauga with bonds already in place. During the council meeting, the council approved Mayor Heigl to executive a G-17 Disclosure with the company to proceed with more research. (5-0)

At the work session, the city leaders discussed (then later adopted) an ordinance declaring the city-owned property located at 225 N. Norton Ave. as surplus property and authorized the sale to the Talladega County Economic Development Authority in as-is condition for the net appraisal amount of $45,015.00. (5-0)

Discussions continued about the latest developments with the Sylacauga Little League lease. The city, through Sylacauga Parks & Recreation, authorized Sylacauga Little League Inc. to continue using Peters Field and McEwen Field (5-0) and Sylacauga Little League Softball Inc. to continue using Roberts Field through Nov. 30, 2024 (5-0). The city’s options to terminate the agreements at any time with a one-year notice were removed.

Per the agreement, each organization is required to maintain its fields and fund any improvements at its expense, and each must maintain insurance and observe city and state laws. The City may use any of the fields when they aren’t. If Little League Softball Inc. ceases using Roberts Field, its agreement is assigned to Sylacauga Little League Inc. If Sylacauga Little League Inc. ceases using Peters Field and/or McEwen field, its agreement is assigned to Sylacauga Little League Softball Inc.

In other council news:

  • Accepted recommendation of Interim Code Director Mike Whetstone to approve resolution awarding bid for the Miscellaneous Roofing & HVAC, Package B Project (Lathan & Associates, PC Job #18-08B) to Stateline Mechanical, as the lowest responsive and responsible bidder having met all bid requirements and qualifications based on tabulation of bids opened 8/09/2018– Net total of award $308,000.00 (Base Bid: $312,000.00, less Deductive Alternate # 1-Removal of Roof Curb Installation from Project: -$4,000.00). (5-0).
  • Authorized Mayor James Heigl to execute agreement with State of Alabama for grant funding of Project TAPAA-TA18(914), CPMS#100068370, to provide Streetscape and ADA improvements along Alabama Hwy 21 between 5th & 6th Streets, and to make ADA improvements to the parking areas along 3rd Street, Calhoun Avenue, and 2nd Street—Total project cost of $800,000.00; Federal TAP Funds $640,000.00, Local Funds $160,000.00 (Application approved by Council 12/05/2017, Resolution 55-2017). (5-0)
  • Accepted recommendation of Interim Code Director Mike Whetstone to approve resolution rejecting the sole bid received on the Museum Restroom Upgrade Revision Project (bid opening was 7/16/2018), and to abandon consideration of the project as bid due to the bid/projected cost exceeding the project budget by more than double the estimate. (5-0)
  • Accepted recommendation from Interim Code Director Mike Whetstone to accept proposal from M J Brooks & Son Construction for new construction to provide ADA compliant restrooms at the city-owned building housing the Comer Museum; Not to exceed $35,500.00, to be paid from bond proceeds. (5-0)
  • Accepted the amended By-laws of the B.B. Comer Memorial Library and to record same as part of the official minutes of this meeting of the City Council. (5-0)
  • Approved travel/expenses for Court Clerk Amber Johns to attend the 2018 AMCCMA Annual Conference to be held in Orange Beach, September 19-23, 2018—Registration fee is $350.00; additional fees for lodging, meals, and mileage will be incurred—Estimated total cost of travel/training for Johns is $1,483.88; Expenses are to be paid to the extent possible from the MC Training funds. (5-0)
  • Approved travel/expenses for Municipal Court Judge Barry Vaughn to attend the 2018 Fall Municipal Law Conference to be held in Orange Beach, October 17-20, 2018—Registration fee is $255.00; Additional costs for lodging, meals, and mileage will be incurred—Estimated total cost of travel/training for Vaughn is $1,205.00; Expenses are to be paid to the extent possible from the MC Training funds. (5-0)
  • Approved travel/expenses for Municipal Court Prosecutor Joseph Carlton to attend the 2018 Fall Municipal Law Conference to be held in Orange Beach, October 17-20, 2018—Registration fee is $255.00; Additional costs for lodging, meals, and mileage will be incurred—Estimated total cost of travel/training for Carlton is $1,205.00; Expenses are to be paid to the extent possible from the MC Training funds. (5-0)
  • Approved travel/expenses for PD Recruit Austin Pitts to attend the 175th Basic Session of the Northeast Alabama Law Enforcement Academy to be held in Anniston August 20 – November 15, 2018—Registration fee of $250.00; Additional costs of lodging and meals at a cost of $1,800.00, and ammunition costs of $239.00 will be incurred (Up to $1,300.00 of expenses to be reimbursed upon graduation from academy)—Estimated total cost of travel/training for Pitts is $2,289.00. (5-0)
  • Approved travel/expenses for Accounting Clerk Sandy Sorensen to attend the RSA training session on the new Pension Administration System to be held in Montgomery August 22, 2018—No registration fee; expenses for a meal and mileage will be incurred.  Estimated total cost of travel/training for Sorensen is $85.00 (5-0).
  • Approved travel/expenses for City Clerk/Treasurer Patricia Carden to attend the RSA training session on the new Pension Administration System to be held in Montgomery August 22, 2018—No registration fee; expenses for a meal will be incurred (Carden to carpool with Sorensen).  Estimated total cost of travel/training for Carden is $15.00. (5-0)
  • Approved travel/expenses for HR Specialist Jayne McGee to attend the RSA training session on the new Pension Administration System to be held in Montgomery August 22, 2018—No registration fee; expenses for a meal will be incurred (McGee to carpool with Sorensen).  Estimated total cost of travel/training for McGee is $15.00. (5-0)
  • Authorized payments totaling $400,040.80 for payrolls for July, 2018. (5-0)
  • Authorized payments totaling $238,718.63 for balance of accounts payable invoices received for July, 2018. (5-0)
  • Suspend the action ordered by Resolution 43-2018, approved May 15, 2018. (5-0)

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