Rainsville City Council makes appointments (VIDEO)
January 16, 2017
Southern Torch (3535 articles)

Rainsville City Council makes appointments (VIDEO)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated on January 20, 2017 to include comments from Councilman Marshall Stiefel to explain his ‘no’ votes on two of the resolutions passed in this meeting. 

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor 


RAINSVILLE, Ala.  — The Rainsville City Council convened for it’s workshop and regular meeting on Monday, January 16. Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt, and Councilmen Marshall Stiefel, Bejan Taheri, Ricky Byrum, and Derek Rosson were in attendance.

The council voted back in October to begin the engineering process to replace the aging bridge on Chavies Road. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

To begin the workshop portion, Chuck Chitwood from CDG Engineering provided the council with an update on the Chavies Road Bridge Project.

The project is currently behind schedule. The team has been put in place, the plans submitted to ALDOT, and are currently resolving the comments that ALDOT has made on the plan. CDG Engineering is also trying to minimize encroachments to a private property on the corner of Everett Street and Chavies road. The plans will involve widening the shoulder, which will encroach on the property.

Chitwood also explained they would have to work with Farmer’s Telephone to either raise or move the telephone line that crosses the road, as the grade on one side of the bridge would have to be raised by 3 feet.

Watch the Full Video:

Councilman Ricky Byrum asked Chitwood when they anticipated being able to open the project up to bid.

“Just don’t have enough information to update on that right now. I’d hate to commit to something tonight and it be wrong and in two weeks we’ll have to change it,” Chitwood explained.

“In two weeks I’ll be able to give you a firm date,” he said.

Chitwood was able to give a ballpark estimate on time it will take to complete bridge, stating the bridge should be complete within, “150 – 180 working days after the actual construction has begun.”

“People in the community are asking when we are going to get this going, and we’re waiting on you guys,” explained Councilman Rosson.

Chitwood will provide another update on the project at the next regular council meeting.

“Hopefully by this time next year we’ll be driving over a new bridge,” said Councilman Taheri.

Sammy Smith, Parks and Recreation Director, then announced baseball and softball signup dates.

Tee ball, baseball, and softball signups will be held on Saturday, January 21, and Saturday, January 28. Parents should bring their forms to the Field of Dreams from 10 am until 2 pm on each of these days. Cost is $40 per child, with the second child in each family (and any other siblings) costing $20.

Tim Eberhart, Executive Director of the Rainsville Chamber of Commerce reminded the council that the Rainsville 50th Annual Meeting will be held this Thursday night. Comedian David Ferrell will provide entertainment, and Bill and Judy Ayers will be awarded Rainsville’s “Persons of the Year.”

“We’re close to being sold out,” said Eberhart when asked about ticket sales.

Councilman Derek Rosson, liaison to the fire department, brought up the appointment of the new fire chief. The council unanimously appointed Willie Mac Wright as the Fire Chief on a 90 day probationary period. Wright was also appointed as the Safety Coordinator for the city.

The council also appointed a Judge, Prosecutor, and Public Defender for the city. The city chose to reappoint both Glen Shedd as the judge and Chris Croft as the city’s prosecutor, along with Andrew Hairston, a judge in Fort Payne, as the city’s public defender.

Taheri then brought to motion the appointment of Officer Kevin Smith to be the city’s new police chief. The council approved the appointment, with Stiefel being the only vote against.

“I’m honored that you’ve chosen me for this position, and I’m honored to serve the citizens of this city, I have an open door policy for every employee and every citizen,” said Smith in the workshop.

“The chief of police job is very, very important. It’s almost as important as being the mayor. People are going to look up to you, and I think you’re going to do a good job,” said Councilman Taheri.

Taheri also moved forward with the appointment of Josh Wigley as the department’s new assistant chief.

“Thank you, mayor and council for this great opportunity to serve my town, and the citizens therein, I look forward to working with Chief Smith. My doors will always be open to you, the council, and the citizens of the town,” Wigley said during the workshop.

Both appointments passed, but Councilman Marshall Stiefel voted ‘no’ on Smith’s appointment. When asked why, Stiefel made it clear that his vote wasn’t against Smith, but that someone else in the department had, “paid their dues” and wasn’t given either position.

“I voted ‘no’ on this appointment simply because someone has paid their dues to this department and was overlooked,” Stiefel Explained. “Officer Kevin Smith has an impeccable resume and did great on the interview, and Officer Josh Wigley is a great asset to our town and a good candidate for the assistant chief job.”

“I was also told that we would be voting on this matter at the next council meeting and it wasn’t on the agenda,” Stiefel added.

The council approved a resolution by Taheri to purchase a gate to close the Rainsville Police Department’s shooting range. Other departments wanting to use the range will have to seek permission from the Rainsville Police Chief.

“We have a problem of citizens and other departments from surrounding towns coming to our shooting range, and because of liability we don’t want that open. We want it closed and to put a sign up, that says, ‘For Rainsville Police Only,'” said Taheri.

Councilman Byrum brought forth a resolution to empower the Mayor to sign a contract with Gorrie Regan for new time clocks that utilize a thumbprint scanner, which sends the log straight to the city clerk.

“What does this cost?” asked Stiefel, during the workshop portion.

“$14,986.28,” replied Byrum.

“We’re spending almost $15,000 simply because we don’t trust the city employees, and it’s unnecessary because the city already has time clocks,” said Councilman Stiefel.

“I just felt there are other options to address this problem, rather than spending this large amount of money to put thumbprint scanners in each building,” Stiefel explained.

Councilman Stiefel brought forward resolutions to dispose of six broken chairs at the library and a drag at the Field of Dreams, which passed unanimously.

The next meeting will be Monday, February 6 in the Rainsville City Annex, with the Workshop beginning at 4:15 pm and the regular meeting immediately after, at 5:00 pm.



Southern Torch

Southern Torch


No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Write comment

Your data will be safe! Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person. Required fields marked as *