By Ashley Graves
The Cullman Times
Forty-two of the county's weather sirens will soon be getting upgrades.
The move comes on the heels of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) new narrowbanding requirements, which are set to take effect Jan. 1, 2013. The requirement mandates emergency radio equipment must operate at a narrower frequency.
Last week, the Cullman County Commission authorized chairman Kenneth Walker to sign a hazard mitigation grant for the project, which totals $68,498 in federal funds to help pay for the upgrades. The remaining $22, 832 will come from local funds. The total cost of the project is estimated to cost $91,330.
"This will cover all of the sirens located in all of the municipalities," Cullman County Emergency Management Agency Director Phyllis Little said. "We know everyone is in the same boat with finances and such, so anything we can do to help is a benefit."
With the requirement deadline fast approaching and cost being a hold up, Little said she applied for an extended Jan. 1 deadline in order to ensure the project gets done.
"We want them to know we're working on this," Little said.
She added she hopes to have the bid packages out to venders by mid February. From there she said things would go down the project timeline. With the grant, she said there is a seven month window, or 220 days to get the project done.
"This is not a short thing," Little said. "We're not going to do half and take a chance if there is bad weather. We're going to go off of the old frequency until the last minute and then have them all switched over at once."
In other action, the commission:
* considered an abatement in the amount of $1,720,000 for a building and equipment.
* authorized the commission to sign a request for assent to vacate 6th St. SW between 1st and 2nd Ave. SW.
* authorized the chairman to purchase and negotiate financing for the First Federal Savings and Loan building located at 325 2nd St. SE.
* authorized the payment of the liability insurance premium to the ACCA.
* ratified the chairman signing the Cooperative Agreements between the Juvenile Detention Center and various medical agencies.
* ratified the chairman signing the agreement regarding the purchase of the Bates property for the sole use of the Sheriff's Department.
* approved resolution 2013-12 — appointment of Secretary of State as agent for paying postage costs related to voter file maintenance and authorize the chairman to sign the agreement.
* considered approval of plat for Smith Lake RV Resort — phase 1A, located in District 2 on County Road 2030.
* approved the purchase of various steel material for bridge construction work on County Road 1755 from JSM Russell Metals, Corp. — cost $14,866.
* approved Bid No. 1120 — herbicides.
* approved Bid No. 1121 — Bituminous Plant Mix.
* approved extended Bid. No. 1161 — metal pipe — Bear Concrete.
* Ratified the following personnel actions:
Promotions: John Harris — full time to Water Dept.
Noble Shadowens — Sheriff's Dept.
Chris Villa — full time Sheriff's Dept.
Kristy Speegle — full time Juvenile Detention
The next regular county commission meeting will be held Thursday, Dec. 20 at 10 a.m. in the commission meeting room.
Ashley Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 225, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org