St. Clair Commission votes to help school board provide mental health services

Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:28 pm | Updated: 8:32 pm, Tue Feb 24, 2015.

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By GARY HANNER, Home staff writer

PELL CITY – In an attempt to assist in providing mental health services to its students, the St. Clair County Board of Education looked to county commission for financial help.

At Tuesday’s regular meeting, the commission approved $70,000 to assist in this endeavor. This will also require a General Fund budget amendment in this amount.

The lone commissioner voting against this was Jimmy Roberts.

“First of all, this only covers county schools,” Roberts said. “Pell City Schools were not involved in that, and they have the same needs the county schools have. Pell City Schools were not even mentioned, and I felt like I couldn’t vote for only part of the county. I have to vote for the whole county.”

When asked if anyone from the Pell City school system had approached the county commission about these type services, Roberts said no.

“But they should have come together,” Roberts said. “I don’t know about the Pell City system all that much, but I do know the Pell City system has about as many students as the county system does. I can’t vote for part of something. It’s either all or nothing.”

In another matter, county attorney James Hill III asked the commission to adopt a proposed policy that clarifies performing marriages on county properties.

“Only elected judges are authorized to perform wedding ceremonies on our properties,” Hill said. “Solicitation is not allowed for those services on our properties.”

The commission adopted this policy unanimously.

In other business, the commission:

— Awarded ATRIP projects on Chandler Mountain Road and Shoal Creek Valley Road to low bidder McCartney Construction. The commission also approved sending a check to the Alabama Department of Transportation for $518,014, which is the county’s 20 percent match.

Chairman Paul Manning said the people who live on these roads are going to be very pleased.

“I’m pleased as well, and proud to see this happening,” Manning said;

— Approved an agreement with the Airport Authority for ditch work. The county paid $1,925, while the Airport Authority paid $1,925;

— Approved the request of the St. Clair Fire & EMS Association for repairs to the county fire radio system repeater on Chandler Mountain. E911 Director Bill Richvalsky estimates the repairs to be about $1,000;

— Approved the request of jail administrator Austin Nash for a temporary full-time employee to fill in for Susan Towery until she returns to work, at which time the temporary position will terminate;

— Approved a resolution supporting legislation that state Rep. Jack Williams will be presenting in support of bringing back UAB football, rifle and bowling programs;

— Approved a letter to make an offer to the property owner on the Forever Wild Project in Springville. The county’s portion will be $150,000, and an amendment will be needed from the general fund;

— Approved the request from Anita Thompson with the St. Clair County Boy’s Ranch to issue an appeal to employees to donate to the Boy’s Ranch through payroll deductions. This is just an appeal that will go out with payroll stating that contributions are entirely voluntary. The county has done this previously for United Way;

— Approved various travel requests; and

— Approved the minutes of the Feb. 10 regular meeting and the Feb. 19 special meeting.

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