By Nathan Prewett
For the Tribune
CENTER POINT – Center Point Council members on Thursday discussed entering an agreement with the Civitan Park Association to provide $10,000 from the city to help the association keep Civitan Park open.
Roger Hart, a spokesperson for Civitan Park Association, was at the Center Point Council meeting Thursday, to discuss the park. He said funding from Jefferson County and the state is running out.
“I’d like to see it continue but it may not because of funding,” he said.
He said that another problem is that the board is having trouble finding members that are willing to devote time to helping run the park.
Council President Roger Barlow asked if ownership of the park may be transferred to the city. Hart said that the board at the association could vote but there would be a “50/50” chance of transferring ownership.
Council member Linda Kennemur also raised the possibility of deeding the property to the city. However, Hart said that the board “doesn’t trust the city” to keep the park in good condition.
Barlow asked what kind of guarantee could be made by the association that they will not sell the park if the city grants the one time $10,000 donation. Hart said that the city has already zoned the area as a “park only” which may keep the land from being redeveloped.
The Council decided to continue meeting with the association to find a solution for funding Civitan Park.
Center Point Fire District Chief Donnie West gave a report on statistics that the fire department has gathered. He said that the district has averaged 776 calls for June and that the department receives under 800 calls per month.
Around 85 percent of the calls are for medical emergencies. Roughly 42 percent of those were from Center Point with other calls being from unincorporated areas of Jefferson County and from the nearby cities.
West said that he went to the council meetings of Clay and Pinson ask for help in reducing exposure to diesel fumes that come from cars in fire stations. Breathing in diesel fumes can potentially lead to illnesses such as cancer. West proposed considering funding the building of structures, costing $15,000, at the fire station that can protect from diesel fumes. Clay and Pinson have such facilities with this function.
West also proposed buying an emergency care product called LifePak that can be included in rescue vehicles, A LifePak is a defibrillator unit that can provide diagnostics for heart conditions. The products would have an overall cost of about $30,000. This, combined with a new facility would total $50,000.
In other business, the Council passed a resolution on adopting provisions in ACT 2017-367, which would provide a one-time lump sum payout to retirees not exceeding $1,330. The payout will be divided among the retirees.
Barlow said that at a meeting with the Center Point Women’s Preservation Society the possibility of renaming the historic Patterson House was brought up. A potential name would be Hillcrest Manor. It was said that the reason for possibly changing the name is due to several families having lived in the house and that giving it a new name would not single out a particular family name.
In his comments, Mayor Tom Henderson said he and two other members of the City Council met with experts from several different law enforcement agencies on getting a “diagnostic” on Center Point in an effort to reduce crime.
Henderson said that the meeting was attending by the U.S. Attorney from Birmingham, as well as the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office two police chiefs from Wisconsin and North Carolina and members of the Department of Justice.
“There was a frank and open discussion,” Henderson said.
Henderson said that there will be updates will be made as the city government cooperates on a plan to curb crime. A study is underway that will take six to eight months at a minimum, he said.
Two new security cameras were delivered to City Hall, both of which could be seen outside the building. Henderson said that they should be operational by next week and that they will be placed on certain “hot spots” in the city. Pinson and Clay have similar security cameras that “cover the area well.”
The next Center Point Council meeting will be held on July 27. Pre-council will be held at 6:45 p.m. followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m.
EDIT: Updated to correct information about the LifePak.