Council approves incentives for city employees to assist with fire department

By John Underwood / john@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 5/5/21

ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — The Robertsdale City Council approved an addition to the city’s personnel policy at its regular meeting on Monday, April 19 that would provide incentives for city …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Council approves incentives for city employees to assist with fire department

Posted

ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — The Robertsdale City Council approved an addition to the city’s personnel policy at its regular meeting on Monday, April 19 that would provide incentives for city employees to assist with fire department activities.

Following a unanimous vote of the council, a new article will be added under Section VI: Wage Administration which reads: “Payment Treatment for Fire Dept. Assistance by Employees. This process will be followed in providing a payment incentive for employees selected to participate in training and firefighting actions for the city’s Fire Dept. To participate in this program an employee shall be selected by their Dept. Head, approved by the mayor, and their retention in the program shall be determined by their Dept. Head. Their incentive payment for their satisfactory participation shall be included in their bi-weekly payroll and will be adjusted on an annual basis per the COLA, as maybe approved by the City Council.”

In March, council and city officials agreed to move forward with discussions on possibly moving to a combined paid and volunteer fire department in the near future.

Council member Russell Johnson presented a proposed ordinance at the March 1 meeting which would provide for the hiring of a full-time chief and assistant chief for the city.

Mayor Charles Murphy said he and Police Chief Brad Kendrick also had plans to speak to the mayor of Spanish Fort, who is in the process of transitioning its fire department to a paid department.

Murphy and Kendrick also discussed plans to utilize city employees who can respond to calls during critical daytime hours when volunteers might not be available.

“There was a time when that’s the way it was done and we have gotten away from that,” Kendrick said during the March 1 meeting. “The hope is for us to be able to provide six city employees who would be able to respond to calls during their normal workday and train with the fire department at night.”

During the April 19 meeting, Murphy said the plan was to start the incentives at $300 per month, which could be negotiated or increased from there.

In other business April 19, the council voted unanimously to apply for federal funding in order to repave and widen Fairground Road at the intersection of Alabama 59 which runs next to Robertsdale High School.

Murphy said the city had received a notice from Congressman Jerry Carl’s office that the House Committee on Appropriations is accepting project funding requests from Congressman and that Carl would be submitting 10 total requests in the following areas:

  • State and local law enforcement assistance.
  • Community Oriented Policing Services (C.O.P.S).
  • Department of Transportation.
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Murphy said the plan was to submit a proposal for DOT funding which would use the same parameters for a project which was submitted for an Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program – II (ATRIP) project applied for in 2019 for fiscal year 2020.

The project calls for the resurfacing and widening of Fairground Road from the intersection of Alabama 59 to approximately 0.2 miles east of the intersection to accommodate turn lanes.

When the city applied for the grant, the cost was estimated at $737,348 and city engineer Greg Smith said at the April 19 meeting that he would have to submit new cost estimates for the appropriation request.

Murphy said the city plans to submit the project with the offer of funding 25 percent of the cost.

“We’re not being given any guarantee that we will receive assistance,” Murphy said, “but the hope is by offering to pay so much of the cost ourselves, it will help in the decision making process.”

Also on April 19, the council:

  • Approved the reappointment of Sonja Conner and Nell Calloway to the Park & Street Tree Committee.
  • Approved a request by the Public Works Department to surplus two lawnmowers, a Kubota tractor and an F-150 pickup truck.
  • Approved a request by the Public Works Department to purchase two lawnmowers and one Kubota tractor.
  • Approved a request to surplus a house on St. Paul Street.
  • Approved the fire department’s quarterly roster for insurance purposes.
  • Awarded a contract in the amount of $178,750 from Bill Patterson Construction for asphalt services for the city’s new public works complex on East Chicago Street.
  • Approved the purchase of a full-page ad in Gulf Coast Media’s special section for the city’s Centennial.
  • Adopted a resolution to authorize city clerk Shannon Burkett to execute bank instruments on the city’s behalf.