Search Continues for Police Chief

Search Continues for Police Chief

By Marla Jones, Managing Editor •

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — (Full Video Below) The Fort Payne City Council held their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, December 1.

Council President Walter Watson welcomed everyone to the meeting. He personally addressed the Fort Payne Police Officers who were in attendance, stating “we are on board with you, if you hear any rumors out there about anything, just come to the council meetings or ask one of us, we will be sure to let you know and be reassured that we stand behind you guys.” 

Watson’s statement comes as the Fort Payne Police Chief position has remained open for several weeks. A panel of police chiefs throughout Alabama will narrow the list of candidates to three for the Council to review on December 10. If the Council does not approve of the candidates the panel submits, they can choose from the pool of those interviewed.

In the meeting, the Council terminated the lease to the FOP shooting range.

“Fort Payne Police Department will have access to the shooting range just like every other town or municipality,” according to Councilmember John Smith. “If not, we will build our own.”

The Council voted to suspend the rules for immediate consideration to adopt two new ordinances. Ordinance 2020-11, amending Ordinance 2020-10 that established Council procedures, changed the time of the Fort Payne Council meeting from 1 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

Ordinance 2020-03, which established polling location changes in the City of Fort Payne was  changed as a response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While this was never a permanent decision, the change of the locations met much controversy. The repeal of the ordinance and the adoption of Ordinance 2020-12 changed back all voting poll places to their normal locations. 

In new business, Valley Joist requested that the Council extend their “Jobs Creations Commitment Date” to December 31, 2022, due to the adverse effects of COVID-19. The State of Alabama has agreed to the extension. This extension does not reduce the number of jobs that Valley Joist creates, just extends the time to do so.

The Council approved a streetlight request for Carolyn Hartline on 503 Margaret Thacker Lane. 

The Council voted to approve the DeSoto State Park project that will upgrade the signage and roadwork to the inside perimeter of the park. This bid through the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) will be $265,000. The City’s match will be $53,000. The City has the responsibility of paying a $30,000 overage from the original bid.   

The Council appropriated $2,500 to the Fort Payne High School basketball program to provide referees for the Wills Valley Shoot-Out Tournament. The tournament is an economic benefit for the City of Fort Paye, bringing in numerous teams and fans.

The 48th Annual Fort Payne Christmas Parade and Christmas in the Park will be held on December 11.

The Council accepted the request of Chris and Luanna Bowman of Hixson Road NW, to subdivide 8.98 acres from the original 51.41 acres for the development of an apartment complex for senior living.  The Planning Commission has approved the subdivision. 

The next meeting of the Fort Payne City Council will be held on Tuesday, December 15.

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