Council approves additional payment for Chelsea Community Center

Published 8:54 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Chelsea City Council passed a resolution on Jan. 12 for an additional payment of $39,687.59 to Argo Building Company for the Chelsea Community Center. (File)

The Chelsea City Council passed a resolution on Jan. 12 for an additional payment of $39,687.59 to Argo Building Company for the Chelsea Community Center. (File)


CHELSEA – City leaders have approved the final payment for the Chelsea Community Center, one of the city’s most recent capital projects that opened in late October 2015.

The Chelsea City Council passed a resolution at a Jan. 12 meeting rescheduled from Jan. 5 authorizing additional payment in the amount of $39,687.59 to Argo Building Company, bringing the total cost of the project to roughly $3.9 million.

“I think that’s a great investment for the years we have to use that,” Mayor Earl Niven said. “I hope all of you are enjoying the community center. It is well-attended.”

Niven said the center averages 120-130 visitors a day, adding about 300 people gathered at the facility last weekend for a youth event.

In other business, Councilwoman Juanita Champion shared totals from the city’s Electronic Recycling Day on Jan. 9. Items collected included 914 pounds of printers; 926 pounds of networking; 1,448 pounds of PCs; 3,094 pounds of TVs; and 2,108 pounds of miscellaneous items. The total collected was 8,490 pounds.

“None of this will go to the dump,” Champion said. “Every bit of this will be recycled. Chelsea really likes to recycle.”

Next, Fire Chief Wayne Shirley shared his department’s statistics for 2015.

The fire department had 1,781 calls, up 8.8 percent from 2014. In 2013, the department reported 1,436 calls, meaning its call volume has increased by 24 percent in two years, Shirley said.

The department also reported: $18,239 in fire losses; an average response time of 7 minutes and 7 seconds; 10,184 staff training hours; new ISO grade of 3/3X, effective in December; 653 fire hydrants in the coverage area; and 208 occupancies or businesses to monitor.

Additionally, firefighter Bert Seitz, who received his badge at a Sept. 1 council meeting, had 307 calls, the most of any staff member. March was the slowest month with 191 calls, and August was the busiest month with 284 calls. Firefighter Paul Williams launched a public information initiative involving prevention and safety videos made available to the public on the department’s web pages.

Shirley also recognized Steve Wallace, the department’s senior chaplain, who helped start the chaplaincy program years ago.

Chelsea Citizen Observer Patrol member Pat McDanal shared an update from the group.

“Patrols are heavy,” McDanal said. “We’re looking forward to 2016.”

“We appreciate the work y’all do,” Niven said. “It’s noted. That’s what makes it so great––the volunteers.”

In a pre-council meeting Jan. 12, the council:

•Heard from Scott Walls, commercial account manager at Alabama Power Company, about a potential partnership with Chelsea to increase the city’s retail development. The partnership would be offered at no cost to the city.

“I want Chelsea to do as good as it can do,” Walls said. “We also need and want that increased growth, just like everybody else does.”