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Rockford hires police chief, approves license

Rockford hires police chief, approves license
By Christa Jennings/Senior Staff Reporter

Rockford residents will soon see the patrol car on roads once more, with a new face behind the wheel.

During a special called meeting prior to its regular monthly meeting Tuesday evening, the Rockford Town Council interviewed applicant Jamie Hammond. All council members and Town Clerk Jennifer Tindall were present for both meetings, with Mayor Scott White participating via speakerphone.

Following the interview, the council unanimously approved hiring Hammond as the town’s new police chief. 

A resident of Alexander City, Hammond is described as “highly trained.” He has worked in Coosa County before and was at one time employed by the Goodwater Police Department.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Hammond’s official start date with the Town of Rockford will be April 1.

In other business, during the regular meeting Ronnie Joiner addressed the Town Council requesting approval for a liquor license.

Joiner further explained that he was there to apply for the license for 22 and Crew, which will be operating in the old Crew’s Drugstore. He said they wanted to keep the Crew name in the business and stated that he was not opening a bar, as the business would also serve food.

After brief discussion, the council approved his liquor license request with a majority vote of 3-2. Council members Karen Pemberton and Robert Smith opposed the motion.

During other discussion, with town attorney Derrick Blythe present, the council reviewed a proposed resolution relating to stray animals in town, especially feral cats.

The town currently has four traps put out for catching feral cats, and the traps are moved to various locations in town. Any potential pet cats that are caught will have photos posted on the town’s Facebook page for owners to identify and claim.

For feral cats that are caught, the town has an agreement with veterinarian Dr. Herron Baxley of Baxley Animal Hospital in Sylacauga to have them euthanized. This is to help get the wild cat population in town under control while also trying to stop the spread of feline diseases, fights and other issues that have occurred because of the feral cats.

The resolution is intended to further help the town regarding the feral cat situation and with stray animals in general. Blythe looked over the proposed resolution and suggested some possible changes.

After discussion, the council unanimously approved tabling the resolution until its next meeting to give Blythe time to further review it and make any necessary changes.

In other business, the council and Blythe discussed the ongoing issue regarding the roof replacement done at the old gym by Three Retired Veterans, or TRV.

The town has been back and forth in contact, and attempted contact, with TRV regarding the work done on the roof. During discussion, Blythe explained that the latest response from TRV was that the damage to the roof was done in the second storm last year and that if the town would buy the supplies the representative would fix it for free.

However, in ongoing discussion it was explained that the issue did not pertain to damage the roof sustained during any storms, but rather that the issue was the job not being done properly to start with. Mayor White stated that the company did not do the roof properly to start with and did not fulfill the contract.

He added that the storm damage has already been repaired, but that the bigger issue is that the original roof project used “piece work,” was “uneven,” “did not use enough screws,” and other such issues.

With permission to speak from the floor, Joiner spoke up during discussion and also advised that the council might want to contact the state licensing board to have someone come out and look at the roof and file a report since the company should be bonded and licensed.

The matter was only up for discussion during Tuesday evening’s meeting, and no action was taken regarding it.

The next regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Rockford Town Council will be held at 6 p.m. April 20.

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