Horsley asks for old swimming pool site

Speaking for his newly formed committee, Eugene Horsley asked Oneonta City councilmen to donate land at the city’s former swimming pool location for a Blount County war service memorial. Horsley reported a friend’s request for help in obtaining recognition for Korean Conflict veterans spurred him into action. He said Oneonta Mayor Darryl Ray had suggested the old swimming pool site as an appropriate location.

Naming the eight committee members, Horsley detailed preliminary plans for the memorial. As outlined, monuments would commemorate each of the wars or conflicts from World War I on and the 132 Blount Countians who have died in military service through these. The committee would have to approve anything placed in the park.

Horsley envisions financial support from individuals, businesses, and governmental leaders. He indicated the committee is pursuing non-profit status, assisted by volunteer efforts of a local attorney and an accountant.

Councilors appeared enthusiastic over the proposal. Ray promised he would consult with the city attorney and bring the matter before the council later.

Chief says lock cars

In his report, police chief James Chapman urged residents to lock their vehicles, even when in their driveways. The chief noted several recent automobile thefts, many from unlocked vehicles parked in owner driveways.

Personnel and appointments

Councilors hired part-time police officer Mike Harris full time. In making the motion, councilman Tim McNair reported Harris has 17 years’ experience and was recommended by Chapman. Harris’s last full-time service was as police chief in Blountsville.

Councilman Ross Norris won approval to advertise, first inhouse and later publicly, for a position with the city’s street department. Members also named Brandon Horton to the county 911 board after rescinding the appointment of fire chief David Osborne. Ray offered that the council had not previously realized 911 board members must reside in the county.

Councilors also approved a resolution to honor all Alabama firefighters and emergency medical personnel. That action coincides with a similar resolution approved by the Alabama Legislature and will be part of a larger recognition June 19 at the Alabama Sports Festival.

Other matters

City manager Ed Lowe reported the city’s receipt of a $132,000- grant. The grant provides funds for fencing at the Robbins Field airport facility.

In their opportunities to address the meeting, councilors commented on the deaths of Oneonta servants Danny Hicks and Jimmy Tidwell.

Councilmen Hal Buckelew, Mark Gargus, and Danny Robinson joined those listed above for the May 26 session.