The Rainsville City Council on Thursday gave a two-year update on the state of the city, beginning when the new administration took office.
Councilman Derek Rosson led a presentation for community leaders and residents that attended the meeting, and the council held their regular meeting afterward.
The 45-minute exhibition categorically represented each department and agency in the city and the changes and improvements the current administration has made.
Rosson and Councilman Bejan Taheri discussed the recent remodeling and updates at the Tom Bevill Enrichment Center that is used by the Rainsville Chamber of Commerce, resident seniors and is rented out for public and private events. In 2018, Taheri said 136 events were held at the center.
Rosson and Taheri also addressed the Chavies Bridge project and where it stands in completion. As it was, emergency vehicles, school buses and residents, in general, struggled with crossing the bridge that was built in the 60s, Rosson said.
“Time means everything when there’s a tragedy,” he said. “I’m glad we’re getting this done to where school buses can travel over it safely.”
The original grant for the project was awarded in 2012, but work did not begin until 2018.
The bridge construction is a 145-day project, and the crew has 40 working days charged to the contractor. Because of recent weather, work has been delayed up to three weeks but is expected to finish in June or July, Taheri said.
An audience member asked if there are incentives or penalties for exceeding the number of allocated work days.
“After the 145 days, if it’s over and the contractor is not finished, they calculate based on how many days it was behind,” Taheri said. “Based on that, they figure out the penalties.”
He said with the amount of the current grant, there would be a $1,500 to $2,000 a day penalty if work exceeds 145 days.
The police department has seen updates, such as vehicles, cameras, vests, ToughBook laptop computers, radios, evidence bar-coding. The city also has it’s first full-time animal control officer and full-time school resource officer that assists Plainview High School, Cornerstone Christian Academy, Kandieland Day Care Center and the mission center, Rosson said.
Among the updates in the fire department, one of the most discussed is the newly implemented Fire Science program hosted by the Rainsville Fire Department in conjunction with the DeKalb County Board of Education. Superintendent Jason Barnett and Career Tech Director Jonathan Phillips attended Rainsville’s presentation to address the city’s involvement in the DeKalb County Technology Center’s newest program.
“I am grateful for this partnership,” Barnett said. “It’s a very exciting opportunity for our students.”
Barnett said without the partnership neither agency could have offered this for county students.
Other categories of the presentation included:
• city infrastructure, paving streets and updating culverts
• the Sanitation Departments new trucks and new implementation of cycling vehicles yearly to make approximately $10,000 profit yearly and a new contract with the town of Sylvania.
• the Wastewater Treatment Plant’s newest sewer expansion.
• the council’s effort to update ordinances that had not been updated since 1986.
• a new city employee thumb print activated time-clock.
• replacing the city’s lights with LED lighting that has resulted in a 40 percent energy reduction.
• the new bus garage that houses 144 buses, not including the school system’s smaller vehicles that are also housed. Barnett said this new building greatly impacts drivers on a daily basis and the board of education that uses the meeting rooms, as well.
• The Field of Dreams Sports Complex now houses the first special needs playground in the county, a seasonal farmers market that greatly exceeds the former one in the city park, the annual Freedom Festival and Cornerstone Christian Academy’s sports teams.
Rosson said with the ticket stubs and numbers collected from the Freedom Fest, Annex, Tom Bevill Enrichment Center, Northeast Alabama Agri-business Center and DeKalb County Schools Coliseum, the city sees an annual influx of approximately 360,000 people and 986 daily.
“We’re working for you,” Rosson said. “We’re doing everything we can. We’re trying to build infrastructure. We’re trying to recruit businesses in. We’re all trying to work as a team and work for you, and hopefully, we can keep doing what we’re doing for the next few years.”
The Rainsville Chamber of Commerce also catered a meal for event-goers after the presentation.
The council also:
• approved a firework contract for Freedom Fest 2019 at 12,000.
• approved the hire of Kennedi Traylor for the new sanitation drive-thru position.
• approved to purchase a sound system for the TBEC at $2,600.
• announced the annual April 27, 2011 tornado memorial service for April 27, 2019, at 7 p.m.
• approved to repair a culvert on Nix Street for $3,160.
• approved to replace a tile on Mockingbird Lane for $1,500.
• approved the completion of the Farmer’s Market Pavilion at $7,513.
• awarded Leadership DeKalb with $500 for their litter project.
• awarded Made in DeKalb with $250.
• awarded the Alabama High School Rodeo with a $500 sponsorship.
• awarded the Wildlife and Hunting Expo with a $500 sponsorship.
• approved to promote Captain Derek Summerford to the position of assistant fire chief, effective immediately.
• approved to sponsor School Resource Officer Tom Devlin at the SRO Conference in Gatlinburg, Tennessee at $550.
The next meeting will be held on March 4, 2019, with the workshop at 4:15 p.m. in the council chambers and the meeting is at 5 p.m.