City council praises storm preparation actions

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Greenville City Council held its regular meeting this past Monday, July 11, in council chambers.

After the approval of the June 27 minutes, the council heard a full post-Hurricane Dennis report from Fire Chief Mike Phillips.

"Last Wednesday, we began getting calls and information about Hurricane Dennis, and we knew it was time to discuss storm preparation plans.

The Butler County E.M.A., the Ala. Forestry Commission, Gem's Ambulance Service, the Butler County Board of Education, the Red Cross, volunteer fire representatives, the utility departments, the water works and sewer board, and many other associations from around the county met. We wanted to iron out any problems we had during Ivan ahead of time.

When Mayor Dexter McLendon called a meeting at noon last Friday, he made a very good decision on closing Sherling Lake.

Since Ivan brought so many trees down, we got all of the campers and trailers out way before the storm arrived," Phillips said.

"Last Saturday morning, the mayor called for another multi-disaster agency meeting in order to see what each agency was doing and to see who was responsible for what.

On Sunday morning, the heads of each agency met with the mayor again.

We had power crews out and working Sunday night, as soon as the storm subsided, plus, our police officers were working 12-hour shifts way before the storm hit," Phillips said.

Mayor McLendon noted to the council that Butler County E.M.A. Director Bob Luman was able to get a generator for Greenville High School, where the special needs' shelter was set up.

"That generator cost approximately $6,000 a day, and it was powerful enough to run that entire school with no problems.

We were very fortunate to have had that generator at the high school for our citizens who needed oxygen or who had other special medical needs," McLendon said.

In other business, the council voted to authorize an application for the Alabama Urban and Community Forestry "Hurricane Ivan" Financial Assistance Program Grant.

This grant would provide funds for urban tree replacement for public lands and some private property.

Mayor McLendon agreed that this would be a positive and appropriate move for the city, considering the vast number of trees lost due to Hurricane Ivan.

The council also heard from Police Chief Lonzo Ingram, who asked for an amendment to the police department's schedule of administrative fees.

"We are asking that the fees for accident reports range from $2 to $5.

Also, as I'm sure you are aware, there is more fingerprinting being done these days, especially with parents concerned about child abductions.

Our fingerprinting now is free.

We have had people to drive here to get fingerprinted from places like Montgomery, where it costs $25.

Why should we have people driving from other counties to come use our free services?

This is money the city could use," Ingram said.

Mayor McLendon and the council agreed to Ingram's request.

Accident reports will now range from $2 to $5 per copy, and fingerprinting will now cost $15.

The next City Council meeting will be held on Monday, July 25, at 5:30 p.m, at City Hall.