By Glenn Collins
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 | 12:00 AM
The building of a City “Safe Room” storm shelter, a FEMA-backed project to give Haleyville citizens a safe-place during emergencies, is now on hold after Council-member Jonathan Bennett objected to bringing the awarding of the bid before the Council at its regular meeting Monday night. Under immediate consideration, which has to be unanimous, Bennett's no vote stopped the resolution from being considered on first read. Because the resolution has now been read, officials who have knowledge of the project stated it would likely be approved at the next Council meeting, since adoption will only require a majority vote.
Bennett clarified his opposition Tuesday via email. In the email, Bennett said,
"I no voted due to the city having to expend 360,000 of general fund cash. This is a large capital expenditure for the city. Many many citizens that stated they see better uses of capital expenditure money throughout our city than for a safe center that can only be used in the event of bad weather.
"Also many people questioned the site it was going to built.
"I also have a problem awarding a bid on a 600,000 project to a single bidder. My opinion is we should re bid in hopes of getting multiple bids to insure we have the best price possible."
Monday, the Council awarded employees a one-time salary supplement to be paid in December “to reward longevity in the work place.” All part-time employees will receive $50. All full-time employees will receive $75. Additionally, each regular employee employed more than one year after December 1st will also receive $10 for each year of continued employment.
In other action, the Council approved September General Operation Expenses in the amount of $384,231.56 and the NAFECO bid for a new 4x4 quick attack/brush fire apparatus, to be paid for by a grant and fire dues.
The Council also approved a request from the Haleyville Merchants' Association to delcare the first weekend in November as "Shop with us first -- it really matters" weekend.
The Mayor stated that Halloween in Haleyville should be celebrated on Saturday, October 29, in conjunction with the Trunk or Treat festival.
The Council will hold a public hearing, followed by a special meeting at Noon, October 24, at City Hall, to consider re-zoning to R-3 of property belonging to Derrel Dobbs.
The next regular meeting of the Council will be Monday, November 7, 7 PM, at City Hall.