Council clears up Toys for Tots questions

Posted 11/8/17

By LEA RIZZO

Daily Mountain Eagle

SUMITON — Sumiton Mayor Petey Ellis and Fire Chief David Waid addressed rumors regarding the fire department’s Toys for Tots program during Tuesday’s …

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Council clears up Toys for Tots questions

Posted

By LEA RIZZO

Daily Mountain Eagle

SUMITON — Sumiton Mayor Petey Ellis and Fire Chief David Waid addressed rumors regarding the fire department’s Toys for Tots program during Tuesday’s Sumiton City Council meeting.

During the meeting, Waid said that a rumor had been circulating on social media that the money the Sumiton Fire Department raises for Toys for Tots is spread amongst the whole school system in Walker County.

“Toys for Tots serves children from Sumiton Elementary and Sumiton Middle school and the children who live in the City of Sumiton who are not in school,” Ellis clarified. “There’s no extension or going out beyond the boundaries of the school district.”

Waid also explained that the addition of students from T.S. Boyd and Sipsey into the Sumiton student body population after the two school closed had not added any extra burden to the program.

“If we were going to serve the kids in the schools, we were going to serve all the kids in the school. We didn’t think it would be right” to exclude students who had previously attended T.S. Boyd or Sipsey, he continued.

Sumiton Elementary and Middle schools are also aiding the fire department in making sure that students who are signed up are actually in need of the Toys for Tots program.

Prior to this, the fire department had to sign children up as well as raise money.

Ellis stressed that the program is for children who otherwise have no means of celebrating Christmas. Waid added that all money raised stays in Sumiton and goes straight to the Toys for Tots fund.

Last year, 230 children participated in the Toys for Tots program, which Waid said was one of the lowest years they’ve had.

Registration for this year’s Toys for Tots program will be held today and Thursday at Sumiton City Hall from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In other business, council members:

•briefly discussed amending the city’s alcohol ordinance but ultimately declined to do so.

Ellis said he received a request from an unnamed business owner, asking that the owner be allowed to place beer signs in the window of the business. Ellis read from a section of the ordinance during the meeting, which declares it unlawful for any business selling alcohol to display any signs containing the name, brand name, or images of any alcoholic beverage visible from the outside of the business.

“I had one of our business owners come to me and he feels he is at a disadvantage with his competitors” because he is unable to display these signs in, around or outside his business, Ellis said.

Council member Floyd Burton voiced his concern that changing the ordinance, which was based on the City of Cullman’s alcohol ordinance, would “open yourself up to whatever [business owners] want to do after this” as far as what they are allowed to display.

•voted to pay out longevity pay and unused vacation time to city employees. The longevity pay for city employees totaled $6,600, while it amounted to $1,100 for the gas department and $1,300 for the water department.

According to the council meeting’s agenda, there are 16 employees with unused vacation time, but the majority do not have substantial amounts.