EMA to conduct school safety drills

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Conducting safety drills at local schools due to train derailments was a subject broached during the Dallas County Commission’s regular meeting Monday afternoon.

Homeland Security/EMA Director, Brett Howard said that since the train derailment in Orrville, his office has been flooded by requests from schools to execute safety drills.

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“We’re going to execute school exercises -train derailment and hurricane exercises – at Clark, Knox and Kingston Schools in cooperation with the Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and the Selma Fire Department,” Howard said. “We’ll get 162 students to shelters and have some of them go to the Emergency Room, after parents sign permission slips.”

If there were a train derailment with a hazardous chemical spill in the area, four schools would be affected, Howard said.

“We want to be prepared,” he said. “There’ve been five derailments in two months in the area – last Friday, there was one on Jeff Davis at the traffic light and there was just a train wreck on Highway 22.”

Howard said the Orrville derailment occurred with hazardous chemicals and the others derailed without turning over.

Two new business requests were presented during the meeting, which was called to order by Commission Chairman Johnny Jones.

First, a request for use of the Horse Arena on Sept. 1 and 2, 2006, for a rodeo by Linda Ray, which was unanimously approved by the commissioners in attendance: Kim Ballard, Johnnie Jones, Roy Moore, Connell Towns and Curtis Williams.

Secondly, Katherine Davis, representing International Paper, requested a caution light at County Road 78 and State 140, to be funded by the State of Alabama. This request was also approved.

County engineer George E. Jones Jr., asked the county to ratify a diesel fuel bid from Jones Oil Field for 1.932 cents per gallon. This was accepted by the commissioners.

The CE & I proposal for the County Road 44 project was noted to have begun – “they started on signs today,” Jones said.

In other business:

Environmental Services Director Larry Friday said the tower safety issue was dismissed for want of jurisdiction.

“It was a case of first impression,” Friday said. “There’s been no resolution of the issue, so it’ll go back to the 911 Board. It was a good way to resolve the issue, but it did not work.”

County Attorney John Kelly III discussed a resolution to the commission issued by the Plantersville Water Board.

“In the event that the Plantersville Water System is dissolved and assets and operational rights are granted to the Chilton Water Authority,” the Board wrote. “The Dallas County Commission hereby declines to ask the Chilton County Commission to appoint a Dallas County representative to represent the Dallas County customers in the Plantersville area.”

Kelly noted that the “statute doesn’t allow for us to issue resolution on this.

It doesn’t appear you have the statutory right to waive your right to appoint. It is their right to be heard, but unless they can give me something that says different, we’re not free to approve this resolution.”

Commissioner Williams noted the passing of Joe Lewis Pettway and complimented the “rainbow of individuals at the funeral home.” A chorus of “good man” acknowledged Pettway’s life and the meeting was adjourned.