COUNCIL MINUTES – FEBRUARY 22, 2022

Jason GuinnCouncil Minutes

The Town Council of the Town of Steele, Alabama, met in Regular Session at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 at the Steele Community Center.  The following members were present:

Present:                                          Mayor Roger Adams

Michael Stevens, Councilmember

Tammy Deweese, Councilmember

Rick Barnes, Councilmember

Philip Gleason Jr., Councilmember

Nancy Miller-Borg, Councilmember

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm by Mayor Adams, who then asked Councilmember Stevens to lead everyone in a word of prayer.

Minutes from the February 7, 2022 Town Council meeting were discussed and Councilmember Miller-Borg amended the minutes to state that the motion to adjourn was made by her and not Councilmember Barnes.  Councilmember Miller-Borg made a motion to approve the amended minutes, seconded by Councilmember Deweese and approved by the Town Council..  She also stated that she wanted to comment relating to the paragraph in the minutes where the Librarian stated that she was “pissed off”.  Councilmember Miller-Borg stated that two weeks prior, Librarian Fann told her that there were two openings on the Library Board, and this is why she contacted two qualified and interested individuals to serve on the Library Board.  Councilmember Miller-Borg stated that she had a discussion with Librarian Fann regarding doing something in the school; but after speaking with Principal Peoples, she discovered that nobody from the Steele Library had contacted her this year about doing any activities.

Ayes: Stevens, Miller-Borg, and Deweese

Nays: None

Abstain:  Barnes

Mayor Adams stated that the January 2022 financials were included in the packets and asked the Council to review them for approval at the next Council Meeting.

 

Councilmember Gleason Jr., arrived at 6:35 PM.

 

Mayor Adams stated that with regard to the Mini Excavator Lease; Town Lawyer Richard Rhea noticed that in the Lease it states that if there is an accident, the Town would be responsible for paying for it.  After checking with our insurance, the Mayor was told that the underwriters could not say that they would cover an accident under those terms.  Mayor Adams stated that he spoke with the salesman again today, and stated that it would be considered a purchase agreement.  Trade-in of the current Mini-X would be $35,000, sale price of new Mini X would be $65,776.58.  A sixty-month contract would be $1230.42 per month and the Town would own it at the end of the contract.  A 72-month contract would be $1047.15 a month.  At the end of 36 months, if the Town no longer needed the Mini X, JCB would come out and value it.    Councilmember Stevens stated that he felt that the insurance company would not be able to get out of paying if there was an accident on it.

 

 

 

 

 

Town of Steele Council Minutes

February 22, 2022

Page 2

 

The following are the options for the Mini X at the end of 36 Months:   (1) JCB take ownership of machine, (2) JCB evaluate and offer trade toward a new machine, (3) Town can continue making installment payments until the Mini X is paid in full.   Councilmember Barnes asked if it was the same model machine as we have now, Mayor Adams replied that the new one would have a hydraulic thumb on it, whereas the old one does not have that feature. Councilmember Barnes asked if the Water Board would be willing to pay a portion of the cost.   Mayor Adams stated that he has spoken with the Water Board Chairman and that he stated that he is willing to pay part of the cost The new Mini X would come with a 2-year, 2000-hour full machine warranty.  Per minutes from the last Council Meeting, the Council has voted to lease the Mini X for 3 years.   Discussion was had regarding the responsibility of the Town’s insurance company to cover any accident.   Councilmember Barnes noted that if the Mini X is purchased, the Town would have the responsibility of maintaining it.  Mayor Adams called the salesperson, Kacey Johnson with Orvis / JCB and asked him if the maintenance on the new machine would be maintained as the previous Mini X was. Mr. Johnson stated that it is not included in the quote, but it could be included at an added cost.  Mr. Johnson stated that the 60 month contract with maintenance would be $1249.02 a month, and a 72 month contract with maintenance would be $1,062.97.   Councilmember Barnes made a motion to purchase the new Mini X for a term of 60 months, with maintenance included at $1249.02 a month. Seconded by Councilmember Stevens and approved by the Council.

 

Ayes: Stevens, Gleason Jr., Miller-Borg, Barnes, and Deweese

Nays: None

Mayor Adams reminded the Council that February 25 – 27, 2022 is the Weather Preparedness Tax Holiday.

 

Mayor Adams stated that Firefighter / EMT Jason Green has asked to receive comp hours.  Councilmember Barnes stated that the personnel book states that comp time is at the discretion of the Mayor.   Discussion was had with regard to whether comp time is for holidays only, and whether there was a cap on comp hours built.  Mayor Adams asked how a Firefighter / EMT would build comp time. Fire Chief Martin replied, that aside from working on a paid holiday, if an off duty firefighter is called in for a call, due to the on-duty firefighter working a call, the firefighter that is called in would accrue comp time for those hours.  Councilmember Barnes stated that he does feel that the handbook needs to be amended at some point, to make the subject of comp time clearer. Councilmember Deweese asked if we are approving comp time for Mr. Green from here forward, or approving comp time that he has already built.  Mayor Adams replied that it was comp time built going forward.   Councilmember Barnes made a motion that the Town allow Firefighter / EMT Green to accrue comp time, seconded by Councilmember Deweese and approved by the Council:    

 

Ayes: Stevens, Gleason Jr., Miller-Borg, Barnes, and Deweese

Nays: None

Chief Martin, stated that the toilets in station 2 were bubbling. He stated that a contractor was called and stated that the septic system was backing up into the fire station and they pumped the septic tank.   Chief Martin stated that after pumping the tank a second time, he was told that it is a septic system that pumps into the sewer system.  The pump that is in the system has failed, and the sewage was pouring into the septic tank at the fire station.   He stated that the Contractor is working on a quote to put in an adequate pump, and adequate check valve, and a switch. Chief Martin stated that he was told that we should have a quote sometime this week.  

 

 

 

 

Town of Steele Council Minutes

February 22, 2022

Page 3

 

Chief Martin also stated that the old extraction tool (Jaws of Life) went down and needed to be replaced. He purchased a battery operated one at a cost of $12,500, from Central Alabama Training Solutions.  The terms are:   $4500 down payment and a payment of $1000 monthly, with no interest charged.  Councilmember Barnes made a motion to approve this expense, seconded by Councilmember Gleason Jr.  And approved by the Council. 

Ayes: Stevens, Gleason Jr., Miller-Borg, Barnes, and Deweese

Nays: None

 

 Chief Martin said he would like to declare the old extraction tool as surplus, and would like to donate it to a volunteer Fire Department that needs it and would use it.   Councilmember Miller-Borg made a motion to declare it as surplus and to donate it to a volunteer Fire Department, seconded by Councilmember Barnes and approved by the Council. 

Ayes: Stevens, Gleason Jr., Miller-Borg, Barnes, and Deweese

Nays: None

 

Mayor Adams brought up the following expenses that needed to be approved:

Police Department expenses – $200 for the radar certification for all the Police vehicles, new radiator for Officer Burttram’s vehicle, front end, and new tire for Officer Clay’s vehicle.  Public Works:  maroon truck needs new tires and a front-end alignment.  Councilmember Barnes made a motion to approve these expenses, seconded by Councilmember Stevens and approved by the Council. 

 

Ayes: Stevens, Gleason Jr., Miller-Borg, Barnes, and Deweese

Nays: None

Chief Martin stated that he found a Firefighters Conference that he would like to attend, along with part time Firefighter Ethan Fuller. It is the Metro Atlanta Fire Fighters Conference (MAFFC) on May 17 – 21st, 2022, Total cost including room and class is $870 for both of them to attend.  He stated that he would like to attend this in lieu of the Chief’s Conference.  Councilmember Barnes made a motion to approve sending them to the MAFFC, seconded by Councilmember Deweese and approved by the Council. 

Ayes: Stevens, Gleason Jr., Miller-Borg, Barnes, and Deweese

Nays: None

 

Mayor stated that he has talked with grant-writer Betty Loftin with regard to the ADECA Grant that the Town had applied for and he stated that Steele did not get approved for funding. The reason for not getting funded was because it was a water project and it was felt that the Town could get that type of project funded through ADEM, instead of ADECA monies.  Mayor Adams asked the Council to be thinking of projects that would be necessary under the next ADECA grant block money.

 

Mayor Adams stated that he has checked with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries and the Town is exempt from any license or certification to spray the chemicals at the lagoon. 

 

Mayor Adams stated that there are 4 people on the Waterworks Board whose term will be expiring on March 7, 2022.  These four are:  Roy Phillips, Martha Stewart, Ruby Reynolds and Darrell Deweese.  The Water Board does have staggered terms, if they stay on past their term expiring, they are considered “hold-overs” until someone is appointed to that position.  Mayor Adams asked the Council to think about this issue and to come up with anyone who would be willing to serve on the Water Board.    

 

 

 

Town of Steele Council Minutes

February 22, 2022

Page 4

 

Councilmember Miller-Borg brought up that the portable building was tabled at the last Council Meeting and needs to be discussed. She stated that an 8 X 12 metal lofted barn was around $3600.  She stated that Town Hall does need to be expanded but, in the meantime, we need to solve the problem of storage space.  Mayor Adams asked Chief Martin what the plans are in the Fire Department with the storage room, and Chief Martin stated that he would like to use it as a dayroom for the firefighters to use.  Councilmember Miller-Borg asked if any of that could be used for the Town for storage instead of purchasing another building.  It was agreed that there was space but the area needed a lot of cleaning out and disposal of unused items.

 

Councilmember Miller-Borg brought up for discussion the issue of renting a dumpster for use by the Town Employees and Town Citizens  After discussion, Councilmember Miller-Borg made a motion to rent a dumpster at the end of March, seconded by Councilmember Stevens and approved by the Council. 

 

Ayes: Stevens, Gleason Jr., Miller-Borg, Barnes, and Deweese

Nays: None

 

Councilmember Barnes mentioned a cyber security grant. He stated that he has talked to BJ at Lookout IT about it and that the only thing he could think of that would be covered under the grant would be to possibly to re-do our website and make some security enhancements.   He stated that he spoke to a rep from Spectrum regarding their Broadband service and mentioned the idea of doing a city Wi-Fi through the library.   

 

Councilmember Barnes stated that he wanted to let everyone know that Hayden Barnes, a resident of Steele is the number 1 percussion player in District 2 for the second year in a row. It was noted that District 2 covers a large area and achieving this status is quite an accomplishment.

 

Councilmember Gleason, Jr said he had been contacted about the failing pipe on Marcie St.  Councilmember Stevens said where two pipes came together, there was erosion.  The Town can repair this problem with rip-rap.

 

Councilmember Miller-Borg stated that she has had several people comment that our minutes are not on our website.  She mentioned that it may be a good idea to authorize the Clerk to submit the minutes to a portal on the website.  

 

Councilmember Miller-Borg also stated that pickle ball is becoming very popular, she said that we have two tennis courts that could be repurposed for a pickle ball court. Councilmember Barnes stated that he thinks it should be done in such a way that it would contribute to a bigger plan that the Town would complete long term.  Councilmember Stevens stated that it would probably cost approximately $15 – 20,000 to blacktop the tennis courts for pickle ball courts.  

With there being no further business to come before this regular Council Meeting of February 22, 2021; Councilmember Barnes made a motion to adjourn the meeting.   Adjourned at 8:05 PM. The next Regularly Scheduled Council meeting will be held on Monday March 7, 2022 at 6:30 PM.