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Rockford Mayor Scott White, left, presents Police Chief Jamie Hammond with a certificate of achievement from the Alabama Association of Chiefs of Police and The University Partnership of Alabama for completing 40 hours in police management. Photo submitted
By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
During a meeting lasting a little less than an hour, the Rockford Town Council took action approving a handful of items that will bring some changes to the town.
Following discussion from last month’s meeting, the Town Council unanimously approved and adopted a resolution during last Tuesday’s meeting to allow the installation of rumble strips at the 4-way stop at the intersection of Alabama Highway 22 and U.S. Highway 231. Councilmember Cordarius Lee was not present for the meeting.
Mayor Scott White mentioned during discussion that after last month’s discussion the state came and added large 4-foot stop signs on all four corners of the intersection. He added that he had heard positive feedback regarding those new signs.
White said he had also talked with local citizens who live close to the intersection, as mentioned last month, and reported that most of the residents said they thought the rumble strips would be a good idea. He further stated that most citizens said they did not think the noise would be a problem since they are accustomed to noise from routine traffic and tractor trailers.
White commented that the rumble strips would be especially helpful for distracted drivers who would not notice the stop signs.
During discussion with the council, Councilmember Lynn Anne Castleberry mentioned a recent incident in which her mom was almost in a wreck because of someone running the 4-way stop and said that she was “all for the rumble strips, personally.”
Police Chief Jamie Hammond said that he believes the strips would help, adding that they’re better than what the town currently has. He said that the strips would get people’s attention, especially pertaining to distracted drivers.
Councilmember Shirley Ogle asked when the rumble strips would be installed, and White said they would have to approve the resolution and send it to the state afterward, with no definitive timeline for when work would start on the strips.
Following discussion, the council unanimously adopted the resolution which reads, in part, “Whereas, the Town of Rockford wishes to ensure that town roadways are as safe as possible; and, whereas, rumble strips will substantially aid in the safety in certain areas causing vehicles to travel at a slower rate of speed… the Town Council of the Town of Rockford, Alabama, hereby finds that it’s in the best interest of the public to allow rumble strips to be installed on Highway 22 and Highway 231.”
In other business, the Town Council heard from Dennis Hill, chair and operations manager for the Coosa County Animal Shelter, with an update on the current status of the shelter and where things stood.
White mentioned to the council that the shelter had been given or had commitment for $5,000 from each of the other municipalities. He added that he knows the lack of an animal shelter is a problem in the county and that he was also glad the County Commission has agreed to help support the shelter.
Hill informed the council and attendees that they are wrapping up the fundraising phase and will then move to working on the shelter building in Stewartville. He said that they are currently looking at opening at the beginning of December if things go smoothly.
He said that they plan to order the kennels soon and also mentioned that the shelter will be taking cats on a limited basis. Among other highlights of the shelter, he said that they will be selling discount spay and neuter vouchers to help citizens get their pets fixed to prevent overpopulation.
In answering questions from town attorney Tom Young and the council, Hill said that it will be a no-kill shelter and that Sheriff Michael Howell has said that once the county has the shelter they will have an animal control officer to help with picking up strays.
Further, Hill said that since the county is using American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, funds to help support the shelter that he will be providing a monthly report to the county and that he plans to provide in-person reports to the town councils every four months.
Also in answering questions, Hill said they plan to have 16 kennels for dogs, four to five kennels for puppies and two cages for cats. He said they will be working with rescue groups and having a foster program to help keep the shelter from being overcrowded.
Ultimately Hill said the shelter will be small enough to operate with just volunteers, but big enough to make an impact.
He added that they will only take animals from Coosa County and that the kennels will be indoors so nearby residents will not need to worry about excessive noise such as dogs barking at night.
Following discussion, the council unanimously approved matching what other municipalities are doing and approved a $5,000 donation to the Coosa County Animal Shelter.
In other business, the council heard from Justin Seagle with Gary Ingram Grading & Paving to offer another option for different lower pricing for the proposed paving project of County Road 18 following discussion from the June council meeting.
Seagle presented the council with a pricing breakdown with a proposed change to the final layer to help make the project cheaper. In reviewing the information, it was mentioned that it would be tar and gravel instead of asphalt.
It was also stated that the town has approximately $255,000 in its funds for road projects. In order to save some money while also trying to do what would be best for the road situation and citizens, the council discussed possibly using asphalt for the bulk of the County Road 18 project and using tar and gravel on the smaller portion.
Ultimately, the council unanimously approved moving forward with asphalt on County Road 18 from U.S. Highway 231 east to Spring Street and tar and gravel on County Road 18 from U.S. Highway 231 west to Communication Drive for the paving project.
Seagle said that work on that project would likely begin in mid-September. As of press time, the comparison figures and grand total for the paving project as approved by the council were not available from Gary Ingram Grading & Paving.
Also during the meeting, Mayor White presented Police Chief Hammond with a certificate of achievement from the Alabama Association of Chiefs of Police and The University Partnership of Alabama for completing 40 hours in police management.
The next regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Rockford Town Council will be held at 6 p.m. September 20.