Rainsville Council also authorizes legal action against County (VIDEO)
February 21, 2017 Share

Rainsville Council also authorizes legal action against County (VIDEO)

PHOTO: Rainsville City Attorney Nikki Scott discusses the ongoing dispute with the county commission over inmate fees. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor 

tyler@southerntorch.com

RAINSVILLE, Ala. — Shortly after the City of Fort Payne authorized legal action against the county, the City of Rainsville followed suit in tonight’s meeting, unanimously approving Resolution 2-21-2017. City Attorney Nikki Scott briefed the council on the ongoing dispute with the county over the imposed fee for the county to house the city’s inmates.

Aside from citing the earlier law that already imposed a $40 court cost on each case within the county for the jail, Scott also mentioned an “indemnification agreement” as a reason for the potential legal action.

“There is an indemnification agreement, saying that if there is a municipal inmate who is hurt or injured while in the county jail, the municipalities will then ‘indemnify’ the county, and say that they hold them (the county) harmless for any damages that will arise from that,” Scott explained.

Scott also explained that if the city signs the indemnification agreement, the city’s insurance will likely not cover the damages.

“We don’t even have the authority to sign that contract, if we want our insurance companies to cover our losses,” she said.

According to Scott, it was decided by the Association of DeKalb County Mayors that Fort Payne City Attorney Rocky Watson would send a letter on their behalf to the county’s attorney, asking for notification if the county intended to stick to the contract.

Late last year, the county delayed the implementation of fees until April 1, 2017. The actions taken by the municipalities will give the county until March 10, 2017 to notify them if they intend to continue with the proposed $20 fee. This will give the cities a window to file an injunction to put the fees on hold until a court decision can be reached. If an agreement is reached, no legal action will be forthcoming.

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In other business, the city also proclaimed February 1st – 28th, “Career and Technical Education Month.” Jonathan Phillips, Director DeKalb County Career and Technical Center addressed the council on the importance of Career and Technical Education.

“Career tech is important. Right now at our career tech center located right here in Rainsville, we can’t produce enough students to fill the needs in our area; especially in welding and healthcare. That’s the two largest needs,” explained Phillips.

“We had one young man, actually a graduate of Plainview High School, he filled out an application with a local company, and they called him back in a minute; that’s how bad they need them,” said Phillips.

Officers and members from Plainview High School’s FFA Chapter were also in attendance in honor of National FFA Week (February 18 – 25).

The Rainsville City Council and Mayor Lingerfelt with Jonathan Phillips, Skills Officers, and Plainview’s FFA Officers. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

Mayor Lingerfelt also brought up a proposed contract with Cornerstone Christian Academy to lease Bethune Park. The contract will be for three years, and will be voted on at the next council meeting.

Other actions taken by the council:

  • Promoted Derek Summerford (Fire Department) to Captain – Rosson
  • Hired Eric Tidmore as a new Patrolman (Police Department) – Taheri
  • Hired two part-time dispatchers, Kristen Rostall and Katelyn East (Police Department) – Taheri
  • Approved service contract with Berry & Dunn (Police Department) – Taheri
  • Agreed to post a job opening (Police Department) – Taheri
  • Approved the purchase of a new phone system for city hall ($4050.00) – Rosson
  • Approved window tinting for city hall ($1546.20) – Freeman (Stiefel Voted Against)
  • Purchased new ice maker for the Field of Dreams – Freeman
  • Approved installation of ‘on demand’ water heater in city hall ($1200) – Byrum
  • Purchased a safe for the city annex ($999) – Byrum
  • Replaced 3 street lights – Byrum
  • Recognized Plainview Boys and Girls Basketball for Achievement – Byrum
  • Approved Dry-Wall work at the Public Library ($2200) – Freeman
  • Empowered Mayor to approve Graceful Acres Subdivision – Rosson
  • Donated $500.00 to ‘Rise and Shine Against Domestic Violence – Freeman
  • Voted to send two employees to revenue training – Rosson

The next meeting of the Rainsville City Council will be held March 6, with the workshop beginning at 4:15 pm and the regular meeting at 5 pm.

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