The Helena Middle School Dance Team is having a fundraiser tonight from 5-8 at Top It Off here in Helena. The Dance team will be performing several times throughout the event. They would appreciate everyone's support. So come on and help these girls out.
Best Halloween House in Helena
Ok, it is official. I counted the judges vote. This year we had more judges than ever. When I combined their lists, one house came to the top and will win the prize box of gift certificates from Helena's Golden Rule BBQ, Helena Depot and Papa Saia's. Also I threw in some candy.
The winner of the Grand Prize is: 136 River Valley Road. I will deliver their prize on Tuesday evening. Congrats to everyone for decorating their homes and getting all of us into the spirit of the season. The children will really appreciate it when they are trick or treating. A special shout out to the haunted house on St. Patrick Place and all the awesome homes of Fieldstone, whose neighborhood should get the title of having the most Halloween spirit, because of the number of houses that were nominated.
Come out and check out all the wonderful decorations in Helena and be sure to thank the owners for their effort.
Work Session for New Council
Here are my notes from the meeting of the incoming Helena City Council and Mayor. This will be the last work session meeting before the incoming council gets sworn in on Nov 5th.
1. Discuss council's appointment of City Clerk and Municipal Judge
Amanda Traywick will be reappointed as City Clerk.
For replacement for the current municipal judge Lee Barns, Victor Portella and Bruce Green said they would be interested in the position. Two of them were former city prosecutors for Helena. In the meanwhile a substitute judge until one is appointed. The decision will be made at a future meeting.
Mark Hall said that he was also looking at people to be appointed as City Prosecutor.
2. Discuss liaison's for each department
This was a discussion about certain council members being the liaison to city department. They would then report back to the entire council with information. There was a discussion about the nature of certain committees and boards. What do they do, and whether they were even needed. A few committees may be merged or eliminated and some created new, like Parks/Rec and Education.
FYI Committee: Listen, I know several of you have emailed me about wanting to be on committees in the City. You need to also email the other council members and express your interest. Tell us where you want to serve and your strengths. I know there are a lot of people who want Utility board, Parks/Rec,Planning and Zoning, but there are many more way for someone to serve.3. Discuss our council president and pro tem decisions. Cris Nelson and Leigh Hulsey said they wanted to be considered for the position for President of the Council. They stated their qualification. The vote will be after the swearing ceremony on Nov 5th. The position is a very important in the new form of city government. It does not pay any more than any other council person. Also Amanda said that city council members make $300 a month (I wasn't sure)
I made a motion to have their term renewed once a year but I withdrew it when no one was in favor of it and Cris said that we could remove the President with an simple majority. As long everyone is okay with that then so am I .
4. Review documents associated with the appointment of Mark to the Utility board. Mark Hall will take a voluntary reduction in his salary which will remain in the general fund. He will have to file paperwork with the court to make official.
5. Future items
The next meeting (and first official council meeting) with be Nov. 5th 6pm. Which will also be the swearing in ceremony.
The council meeting will have a vote for President and President Pro-tem of Council. A Resolution of changing government, a resolution to change the name on the checking accounts (around 22). A extension of current budgets and committee/board appointments. City Clerk, Municipal Judge, maybe even an audit report from the past Council and Mayor.
Mark Hall also said that Shelby One from the Chamber of Commerce wanted to meet with us about bringing businesses to Helena (there is a fee). He had also met with Cam Ward, Regional Planning Commission, and ALDOT about the High School traffic and the bypass.
The next major contract coming up is the USTech which handles all the computers in the City. Chief Jones said he would get a separate bid from Shelby County. There is another work session planned before the Nov 19th Council Meeting.
This may be unnecessary but I will say it anyway: My notes of any municipal meetings are not official in any way. The official minutes can be obtained from the City Clerk. This is just my opinion on what occurred.
FEMA Approves Storm Grant
FEMA has approved a matching grant for three Helena storm shelters in an article by Neal Wagner to be built in 2015 after the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved a $292,500 grant. The "total cost of the project will be about $478,000, Childers said. Helena will fund the balance of the project not covered by the grant". It would build a shelter in Penhale Park, Cahaba Lilly Park, and Helena Sports Complex.
The outgoing council discussed this in June. I did a blog post about those discussion. I think storm shelters are great but since I am about to be put on city council, I would want to make sure we: have enough money, have them close to people who may need them, and it is a good value for the city since they only hold 150 people? I need to ask those questions before I get happy about us getting the matching grant.