Council OKs E911 move

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 9, 2003

The Selma City Council has voted to join with Dallas County and the Enhanced 911 board in its decision to relocate its communications center.

Again.

A vote to move the center from 12 Franklin St. to 311 Dallas Ave. passed 7-2 at the council’s Monday meeting. Council members Glenn Sexton, Rita Sims Franklin, Jean Martin, Nancy Sewell, B.L. Tucker, James Durry and President George Evans voted in favor of the move. Council members Bennie Ruth Crenshaw and Sam Randolph voted against.

Stipulations in the motion included appropriating $226,000 for employees’ salaries as well as allowing Evans to instruct someone to put the move into motion.

Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. said he didn’t support the decision. &uot;The E911 board has obligated this body to co-sign the loan for the building and I’m not going to sign it,&uot; Perkins said.

A contract presented to the council by E911 board member Brett Howard puts a number of obligations on the city including paying one-third of the utilities and co-signing a loan for the building. Howard, though, said that the one-third utility cost wasn’t a change from the city’s current financial responsibilities and that the bank required all governmental entities involved in the contract to co-sign the loan.

Howard said for the city to completely move its facilities to the new location, three actions must occur: phones must be switched to the new address, equipment must be moved and a radio connection between the new communications center and the city’s communications tower must be established.

Before asking for a motion, Evans asked City Attorney Jimmy Nunn to meet with E911 board attorney Carte Blackwell and examine the contract together. The contract hasn’t yet been signed by city officials.

A vote on the issue on Monday was motioned by Franklin and seconded by Tucker. Originally the motion stated that Selma Police Department Chief Robert Green be responsible for completing the necessary duties involved with moving, but Crenshaw amended the motion to state that Perkins had relinquished his authority allowing Evans to instruct someone to oversee the move.

The new center is expected to open Oct. 1, 2003.

This isn’t the first time the council has voted to move to the new center. On Aug. 11 a vote in favor of relocating the center passed 6 – 3.

In other matters the council:

Entered an executive session. Nunn requested the session for reasons of good name and character and pending litigation. The motion to enter the executive session was made by Sewell and seconded by Franklin.

Discussed contacting the Alabama Department of Public Examiners. Sexton brought the subject up and said it was because of financial difficulties and problems within Selma’s general services department.

Crenshaw, however, questioned why the subject was brought up at this particular time. &uot;All they want to do is read across the newspaper that something is wrong with Selma,&uot; Crenshaw said.