Alabaster could see savings with in-house engineer

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Alabaster could begin saving a substantial amount of money on its engineering costs after the City Council voted to fund an in-house city engineer position during its Feb. 17 meeting.

The council voted unanimously to fund the position, which is the first in-house engineering position in the city’s history, said Alabaster Mayor David Frings.

In January, the city hired Brett Tucker to serve in the position. Tucker will handle many of Alabaster’s day-to-day engineering needs, which were formerly taken care of by outside agencies.

“Of course, there are some things we will still have to outsource,” Frings said. “But we hope this will help us cut down on our engineering costs.”

Because the city no longer will have to rely on private engineering firms every time it needs engineering work done, Alabaster’s cost of operation likely will drop, said Ward 7 Councilman Tommy Ryals.

“Hopefully, this will allow us to save the city a good bit of money on engineering costs,” Ryals said.

In other business, the council:

– Agreed to enter into a contract with the Alabaster Sports and Entertainment Foundation to provide service at the city’s concession stands.

ASEF has provided the concession stand service for the past few years, and invests the money it raises through the service into the Thompson High School sports programs, said Ward 6 Councilman Scott Brakefield.

“They do a lot of good work with our concession stands,” Brakefield said. “And they invest that money right back into our high school sports programs.”

– Accepted a $28,020 bid from Montgomery-based Emergency Lighting by Haynes to provide emergency lights and equipment for nine recently purchased Alabaster police cruisers.

– Accepted a $4,578 per-unit bid from Birmingham-based 10-100 Electronics to provide in-car camera systems for the nine recently-purchased patrol cars.