Presenting trophies to the winners of the Blanche Freedom Festival Vocal Contest Wednesday, July 4, 2018, are, from left, Kelsey Pittman, Kayla Stewart, champion, who sang "The Old Rugged Cross"; Judge Dave Pittman from American Idol, and Caleb Beard, runner up, who sang "Reckless Love". (courtesy photo)

Erin Curry Announces Candidacy

Erin Curry is a candidate for District 1 County Commissioner in Giles County.

"I will bring a fresh perspective to our commission and a diligent work ethic," Curry stated.

"We have many opportunities in Giles County that we are not taking advantage of, such as our I-65 exits and our Agri-Park," she added.

Curry believes our school system is the most important issue in Giles County because it ties into so many facets of our lives; not only the future of our children, but the future of Giles County.

Another concern of Curry's is the cleanliness of the county.

"We've become a county of litter bugs - I'd like to help change that," said Curry.  "Our creeks and rivers are seeing more visitors every year and we don't want to turn them away because of the trash."

Curry has lived in District 1 all her life, except while attending college at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, TN and a couple of years in Nashville. She grew up in the Kedron community and now lives near the Fogg Hollow area. She moved home to work for Sain Associates as a civil engineer; where roadway design and safety are the primary services.

Currently serving on the Pulaski Board of Zoning Appeals, Curry is finishing up her last year on the Giles County Chamber Tourism and Commerce board, and is a proud Rotarian. She is a graduate of Leadership Giles and Gattis, the regional Leadership program. An animal lover with several dogs, cats, and donkeys, she also likes to watch a lot of Titans and Predators games, read a lot of books, and kayak Richland Creek as much as possible.

"I am attempting to meet as many District 1 residents as possible and get to know all parts of my District. Thank you for your support and your vote and I look forward to serving District 1 and all of Giles County," she concluded.

Town Council Approves Purchase Of Cameras

by Rebecca Bryant

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m., followed by prayer and roll call. In attendance were Mayor Billy Shannon, council members Mary Hobbs, Billy Ray Hall, Ricky Mitchell, and Leah Faulk. Also in attendance were Police Chief Jimmy Kennedy, Street Department Supervisor Terry Barkley, Court Clerk/Magistrate Sandra Cultice and Magistrate Deana Davis. Council member Melody Duffey was absent.

Motion to approve minutes from the June 11 town council meeting was made, seconded and the vote was unanimous.

The new Senior Center Director Stephanie Smith was welcomed. Smith announced a community cookout is planned with the date to be determined in the near future. Mayor Shannon advised to notify Town Clerk Cultice with any issues.

Next, the Senior Center bank account at First National Bank was discussed. A motion was made by Mary Hobbs to remove Billy Ray Hall and Shirley Mitchell from the account, correct the mailing address and add Director Smith and Town Clerk Cultice to the account. The motion was seconded by Hall, all were in favor and the vote was unanimous.

The next agenda item was the upcoming Fall Festival. The Greater Ardmore Chamber of Commerce President Ronny Cornelison announced the theme colors will be black and gold in keeping with the Ardmore High School Tigers and asked for permission to use the stands used during the last Tinsel Trail in a similar fashion with Halloween decorations. Tattie-bogles, or scarecrows, are a popular tourist draw across the Tennessee Valley during the fall season. Businesses will be able to purchase a stand in order to create their own and promote their company. Hall made the motion to give permission, seconded by Mitchell, and the vote was unanimous.

An update was given regarding the improvements to the tennis and basketball courts. Per Street Department Supervisor Barkley, the renovations were originally planned for mid-July. However, due to the recent rains, the repairs are currently scheduled for the end of August.

Police Chief Jimmy Kennedy next addressed the council regarding repairs for the department's 2012 Dodge Charger. He provided an estimate of $1893.63 to replace the power steering pump and other items. Kennedy stated the motor was replaced last year while still under warranty and the vehicle's odometer currently registers 77,943 miles. He did advise the Ardmore TN city council as well. Mitchell made a motion to approve the repairs, seconded by Hall and the vote was unanimous.

Next, Mayor Shannon provided an update on the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) sidewalk grant, stating it has been almost one year since the engineering company has submitted the drawings. September is the target date for bid submittals if final drawings are approved by the Alabama Department of Transportation (AL/DOT) and then work will begin.

With nothing else on the agenda, Mayor Shannon asked council members for further comments. Barkley addressed the council regarding recent vandalism in the town park. He has worked with Chief Kennedy regarding the events, noting that while previously there might have been only one incident per month, the park has been vandalized up to four times per month since last year. Recent vandalisms include the tennis courts, bathrooms, the batting cage gate and the flag pole. Barkley sought quotes for an updated camera system and provided an estimate of $3158 for 10 cameras that should cover 90% of the park area. The high resolution cameras have the ability to capture auto license plates, which he stated was critical. Linked to a smartphone app, movements shown on the cameras will send alerts to police, Barkley and any other town employee or council member placed on the notification list upon motion sensors being activated. Hall made the motion to approve the purchase, seconded by Mitchell and the vote was unanimous.

Last, Faulk inquired whether residential garbage collection is tied to the city water bills. Per previous ordinances, garbage collection is optional and burning is permitted, provided town citizens notify the fire department.

With nothing further, the meeting adjourned at 7:34p.m.

City Council To Expand Veterans' Museum

Present at Ardmore City Hall Tuesday, July 10, 2018 when the Giles County Commission's award of $50,000 for paving to the City of Ardmore was presented are, from left, Ardmore Alderman Joe Stagner, Ardmore Alderman and Vice Mayor Ken Crosson and Giles County Mayor Janet Vanzant. (photo by Mary Prier)

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen for the City of Ardmore held their regular monthly meeting Thursday, July 5, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall on Main Street.

Present for the meeting were Mayor Tim McConnell, Aldermen Paul VanManen, Garon Hargrove, Ken Crosson, Raymond Crabtree and Joe Stagner, City recorder Mary Prier, Police Chief Jimmy Kennedy, Parks and Recreation Director Tim Turner, Giles County Commission District 1 Commissioner and Candidate Bill Carey and Giles County Commission District 1 Candidate Erin Curry, interested citizens and members of the news media. Aldermen Wayne Harvell was absent due to a prior commitment to his congregation.

The minutes of the June 7, 2018 meeting were approved unanimously on a motion by Stagner, 2nd by VanManen. June expenditures were also approved unanimously on a motion by Crosson, 2nd by Hargrove.

Erin Curry, a Giles County native and candidate for Giles County Commission District 1, representative addressed the council saying that she is a civil engineer with Sain Engineering in Pulaski and that she had lived most of her life in Giles County with the exception of her years at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN and a brief period working in Nashville, Tennessee. Erin expressed concern for the education the Giles County students are receiving, the development of the exits along I-65 in Giles County and a growing litter problem.

Action taken at a joint council meeting held June 11 at the Ardmore, Alabama council chambers was approved on a motion by Stagner, 2nd by Crosson and voted for by Crabtree, Crosson and Stagner, VanManen voted not to approve the action taken and Alderman Hargrove abstained because he was not at the meeting.

At the request of Parks and Recreation Director the council discussed purchasing an additional riding lawn mower. Crosson discussed a deal he found to buy two used mowers and trade in one of the two mowers now owned by the city for a total expenditure of $12,500.00. The two used mowers were priced at $16,000.00 and a trade-in allowance of $3,500.00 was made for the mower being traded. After discussion VanManen made a motion to purchase the two used mowers and trade in the other second by Crabtree the motion passed unanimously.

Alderman Crosson made a request for an additional 25' of space for the Ardmore Veterans Museum currently housed inside the Maddox Building. Crosson stated that donations had been coming in so fast that he has already filled the current space to capacity and is expecting much more. Van Manen made a motion to allot the additional space to the Museum second by Crabtree and passed unanimously.A new set of double doors for the Maddox Building was brought up by Crosson. Following discussion a motion by Hargrove to table the door purchase until additional remodeling of the building was completed and the final floorplan was known was second by Stagner and passed unanimously.

Discussion then turned to the need for a new backhoe. Crosson said that he had received a quote for a John Deere 310LP priced at $70,000. Crosson added that the city's current backhoe would be worth $15,000.00 trade-in. Stagner, noting the current backhoe which had been presented to the council as being in good working condition, spent a lot of time being worked on and had a lot of money spent on it since its purchase, made a motion to table buying a new backhoe until sufficient time had been spent researching the city's needs for a backhoe and the type and size required to fit the city's needs. Hargrove second the motion and Aldermen Stagner, Hargrove and Van Manen voting for the measure and Aldermen Crosson and Crabtree voting against the motion. Motion passed.

Street repairs were next on the agenda and Alderman Crabtree noted that there were 2,873 feet that needed to be paved now. T.C. Lovell bid $9,768.00 for the job and Tom Lovell bid $9,875.00. Van Manen made a motion to allow Tom Lovell to pave the 2,873 feet of street for $9,875.00, second by Hargrove and passed unanimously.

The meeting was then adjourned.

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