Council step closer to work on new WHS
by Ron Harris
May 07, 2014 | 1709 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jasper City Council members moved a step closer to seeing work begin on the new Walker High School after approving a bid package for grading work at the site on Viking Drive.

The Jasper City Board of Education approved at its meeting Monday night awarding the project to Carcel & G Construction, LLC, based in Cullman, which was the low bidder at $2.16 million. Jasper City Council members followed suit at its meeting Tuesday morning and approved awarding the project to Carcel & G Construction.

Jay Kirkpatrick of Hoar Construction, the company overseeing the project, briefly addressed the council about the project.

Jasper City Schools superintendent Robert Sparkman was also at Tuesday’s meeting. Sparkman said earlier this month he expects grading work on the project to begin in June.

The council also gave Mayor Sonny Posey permission to enter into a custodial agreement pertaining to bonds sold for funding the project. Posey said Regions Bank is custodian of funds for the more than $52 million, which will be transferred to First Bank of Jasper as needed on the construction project.

Posey asked council members to allow Sparkman and Monique Rector, the chief financial officer for the city school system, to serve as signatories on the account at First Bank, along with Posey and city clerk Kathy Chambless.

Two signatures will be required on any checks written for the construction project.

In other business, council members:

•approved a request from Terrance Neal of Total Package Outreach Ministry for a parade permit for a special event at A.P. Howell Park on May 24. The event will be held from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.

•approved a request from city purchasing agent Derleda Abrom to send out bid invitations for polyethylene pipe, corrugated pipe and paving marking for city projects year.

•heard from Abrom, who said Good Hope Contracting was the low bidder for street repaving projects and suggested the council award the company the projects.

•adopted an amendment to the city’s budget to include an employee at the city’s animal shelter. The council also heard an introduction to an amendment to the budget regarding line item transfers.

•approved a request from Jasper Police Chief Connie Cooner Rowe to close streets surrounding the Walker County Courthouse today for a police memorial ceremony planned from 5 until 7 p.m. at the courthouse square.

Second and Third avenues and a portion of 19th Street will be closed, Rowe said, to allow law enforcement vehicles to park around the square.

The memorial service will be to honor all local law enforcement personnel who lost their lives in the performance of their job.

•heard from Rowe, who requested funding to send seven new JPD officers to the police academy.

The cost for sending the officers to the academy will be $11,424, but that will be reimbursed to the city once the officers complete the academy.

Rowe also discussed with council members the need to purchase up to 12 new bullet proof vests for her department. The vests will cost $7,748, but half that cost will be covered by a federal grant. The remaining $3,874 will come from the police department’s current budget.

•heard an introduction for funding to repair the surface surrounding the splash pad at the city’s APEX park adjacent to the Memorial Park Natatorium.

•approved annexing property at 1996 Cooner Road into the city. The property is in District 4.

•agreed to a land lease agreement with Timesavers, Inc., for property that sits on 19th Street at the site of the former Lorch’s Jewelry Store.

•approved allowing Posey to negotiate a lease agreement with the owner of a parking lot on 20th Street that is currently closed off to the public.

Posey told council members the lease is $400 a month, and several downtown merchants will help cover the cost.

The lot, which sits across from the Walker County Jail, can accomodate 40 vehicles, Posey said, and will significantly increase parking in downtown.

•heard from Fire Chief David Clark, who informed the council of repairs needed on one of his department’s fire engines. The motor on the vehicle needs replacing, which could cost approximately $50,000, Clark said.

The fire engine is 22 years old, and council members discussed the possibility of buying a new vehicle for the department instead of continually spending money to repair one that’s more than two decades old.

A new fire engine would cost approximately $400,000, Posey said.