The Rainsville City Council on Monday saw a standstill in their efforts to transfer the DeKalb County Schools Coliseum over to the board of education.
In this week’s workshop, Councilman Brandon Freeman proposed a 15-member board that would oversee the changing of the deed; however, in the meeting, a 3-2 vote caused the motion to die.
“It’s a 15-member board basically dealing with the coliseum so we can finally finalize everything with the coliseum and be done with it and turn it over to the county,” Freeman said.
The proposed reinstated Public Athletic Board includes Chris Hampton, Sandy Goff, Joey Graham, Rodney Williams, Monk Blevins, Mellisa Ledbetter, Scott Timmons, Sammy Smith, Kelly Bunch, Scott Kirk, Johnny Frazier, Steve Bowman, Eric Samples, Bubba Johnson, Skeeter Logan.
Councilman Rosson asked if the city had sold the coliseum to the board already in 2001. Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt said no, that it was a lease to own agreement.
Councilman Rickey Byrum and Rosson brought up the fact that the council voted last year to turn over the coliseum to the board of education and asked why the city was still in control of the entity.
“It was in this board that was set up to basically hold the title to the property, but that board hasn’t been renewed in years,” City Attorney Nikki Scott said.
She said a new board would need to be reinstated so there would be a committee that held the deed that could turn the coliseum’s ownership over to the board of education.
“It ended up not being as easy as making them a deed because they needed certain things in order,” she said.
Councilman Marshall Stiefel said he spoke with DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Jason Barnett, who was present at Tuesday’s meeting, and learned there was an email from the board’s attorney to the city’s attorney last September requesting the formation of the 15-member board to move forward in the process. He said that email was not responded to, and neither was one in January, and so the city paid the $13,000 insurance premiums in February since the coliseum had not yet been turned over.
Barnett said he appreciates to city’s involvement and relationship in working with the board of education in this, and as soon as the coliseum changes over, he has everything lined up with insurance to start as soon as possible.
Rosson, however, said he would like more time to discuss the forming of the board and learn more about the situation before moving forward. He said his stance has nothing to do with the people proposed for the board but the process taken.
“I understand there’s got to be a process but I just cannot understand why we can’t be done,” he said. “If we have the power to hypothetically get rid of a board and move forward, then why can’t we be done in this situation? In my opinion, I’d like to table it and talk about it amongst us and get a little more information because I don’t like making hasty decisions, and if it’s brought up tonight I’m not going to vote for it.”
After the council moved into the meeting, the motion for the formation of the board was voted down by three ‘no’s’ coming from Rosson, Byrum and Councilman Bejan Taheri.
The council also:
• approved to suspend Ordinance 10-15-2017, that requires any rental property to pay $50 per year.
• amended Ordinance 10-15-2017 to $25 per year for two years and the ordinance will be revisited and renewed at that time.
• approved to repair alleyway behind Black’s Tires for $6,000.
• approved to replace the street sign at Alabama 35 and Parker Lane with square tubing.
• named Assistant Fire Chief Derek Summerford as secondary safety director to Chief Willimac Wright with a $0.50 an hour raise.
• approved renovations to the court clerk office at $9,500.
• approved to have ceiling tiles replaced and asbestos removed at $2,000.
• approved to send Wright and Summerford to an upcoming chief’s conference.
• accepted the resignation of Chance Williams from the fire department.
• posted an open position at the fire department until the end of the month.
• hired Jacob Owens to the police department with a 90-day probation, Freeman voted against.
• approved to pay for Owens’ academy training in Tuscaloosa, Freeman voted against.
• approved the addition of three part-time fire department positions to lower overtime and help with short staffed shifts.
• approved to allow Safety Director Wright to require city department heads, or someone in the stead, to attend a monthly safety training.
• approved to appoint a new School Resource Officer to Plainview School, Cornerstone Christian Academy and Kandieland DayCare Center,
• approved to revise and rebid the Boozer bid project, with bids being opened on Aug. 28 at 12 p.m. in the council chambers.
• heard an update from Eric Samples, chairman of the Public Building Authority, who said the city accountant said the Northeast Alabama Agribusiness Center “looked better than it ever has.” Samples said he took over with -$5,000 and they have brought the accounts up to $22,000. He said they are booked with events and only have a few open spots this year, some of which are holidays. The council thanked him for his diligence with the center.
• approved to pay the monthly bills.