Chelsea approves updated agreement for high school turf, track project

Published 9:56 am Thursday, March 3, 2022


CHELSEA – Despite higher-than-expected project costs, Chelsea High School will still see turf and competition track upgrades in the near future.

On Tuesday, March 1, the Chelsea City Council approved an amended memorandum of agreement with Shelby County and the city of Westover reflecting an increase in the amounts of funding Chelsea and Shelby County will contribute to the project.

“We appropriated funds to do the turf and track project, and it went out for bid and came in $430,000 higher than what had been previously approved,” Mayor Tony Picklesimer said. “This resolution has given me permission to raise the city of Chelsea’s donation to that project by $200,000, and the Shelby County Commission will also raise their contribution to $200,000. We’re now there; we can get our turf and track project done at Chelsea High School.”

The original MOA the Chelsea City Council approved in December stated the Commission would contribute $400,000 to the project, Chelsea would contribute $800,000, Westover would contribute $70,000, and the Shelby County Board of Education would cover the design and engineering costs, which would total about $150,000.

Picklesimer said the funds Chelsea will be contributing to the project will come out of the city’s general fund budget.

“This $1 million that the city of Chelsea will be giving to the turf and track project will not be coming from the 1-cent (sales tax) education fund,” he said. “It will be coming from our general fund budget.”

The project’s approval in December received praise from students and school leaders, including CHHS Principal Dr. Brandon Turner and Trey Lee, head coach of CHHS’s track and field and cross country teams.

“Having a track of our own will help not just the track kids, but also all the other sports on campus,” Lee said. “Considering that we are moving up to 7A next year, we will be facing even more adversity, and a proper field will help with the athletics for the high school. It will help the athletes represent our city, and most importantly, it will help us be better than just good enough.”

Shelby County Manager Chad Scroggins said the county will be able to use the facility for tourism-related events when the school is not using it.

In other business on March 1, the City Council:

  • Approved a proclamation declaring the week of March 20-26 as National Safe Place Week in Chelsea.
  • Approved a proclamation declaring March 1 as Lionel James Day in memory of Lionel “Little Train” James, a former Auburn University football player and longtime resident of Chelsea.
  • Approved a resolution to appoint a voting delegate and two alternate voting delegates to represent the city of Chelsea during the business session of the Alabama League of Municipalities annual convention.

• Approved a resolution to award Nick Grant funds in the amount of $2,137 to Chelsea Park Elementary School.