Tag: Jefferson County Commission

Company Begins Study to Shorten Jefferson County Emergency Response Times, Some of More Than 3 Hours

The problem of extended ambulance response times didn’t pop up overnight, and the solution won’t either, according to a consultant Jefferson County is bringing in to address the situation.

“This is our first day on the project,” Joseph “Jay” Fitch, founding partner of Fitch and Associates, said Tuesday at the committee meeting of the Jefferson County Commission. “We’re going to be to touring your 911 center and working with an advisory group of municipal officials and fire chiefs today.”

Fitch said the first part of the project is discovering data so his company knows when and where emergency calls occur. Knowing that, he said, the company can look at different kinds of options for emergency medical service coverage.

Commission President Jimmie Stephens said long ambulance response times has been an ongoing problem for more than nine months. He said the extended wait times for an ambulance for emergencies, including heart attacks, sometimes exceeds three hours. Read more.

Two Road Projects Moved Forward by Jeffco Commission

A pair of road projects are closer to fruition after the Jefferson County Commission on Thursday approved resolutions related to those two projects.

Each project is in the city of Hoover. One authorizes a joint services agreement with Hoover and Jefferson County and CSX Transportation on improvements to South Shades Crest Road, to which a third lane will be added from Alabama 150 to Eden Ridge Drive.

That project includes replacing a bridge that passes over CSX train tracks.

The other project authorizes paying for tract 6 of the Galleria Boulevard extension project. For years, motorists have driven through the parking lot of Ashley Homestore as they’ve made their way from Alabama 150 to Lorna Road on the other side of the hill.
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Jefferson County Commission Approves Incentives for Development

The Jefferson County Commission today approved a resolution to provide economic incentives for Bill Smith’s latest venture – Landing – but not before Lashunda Scales had her say.

The matter passed 3-1, with Scales casting the dissenting vote. Sheila Tyson was absent.

Scales expressed concern, saying she wanted to see what efforts the company will make to give priority to hiring residents of Jefferson County. Additionally, she said she is concerned that a long-term plan for the company was not presented even though the incentive plan covers six years.

The District 1 commissioner said that while the company currently arranges apartments for rentals, she is afraid the operation will go beyond apartment rentals
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Two Hoover-Area Road Projects Up for Consideration Thursday

A pair of long-awaited road improvements came a step closer to fruition as the Jefferson County Commission moved those matters to the agenda of Thursday’s commission meeting.

Each road project is in Hoover – extending Galleria Boulevard from John Hawkins Parkway to Lorna Road and widening South Shades Crest Road. The latter project would add a third lane to the heavily traveled stretch of road. Read more.

Petelos Says Goodbye to Jefferson County County Manager Post

Tony Petelos attended a party Thursday to mark his retirement after a decade as county manager for Jefferson County. Petelos is the only county manager Jeffco has had, and the county now is searching for its next one. County commissioners earlier lauded Petelos for his stability during a tumultuous period in the county’s history, through tornadoes, bankruptcy, receivership, a sewer crisis and a consent decree.

Petelos Plans ‘Uncommon Retirement Process’

Tony Petelos had planned to have his replacement in place before he retired from his position as Jefferson County manager. But a new county manager has yet to be hired as Petelos counts down to the end of his county career.

He laughed Tuesday at the notion that the delay in hiring his successor is because it’s so hard to replace him.

“The commission waited,” he said. “They lost two months before they decided to move forward with hiring somebody to do a national search. For two months, nothing happened.”

Petelos’ last day officially on the job is Friday, June 18. He has vacation days lined up, so he will remain on the payroll for a while. His will be an uncommon retirement process, he said.

“Technically, the way it works is when people retire, we’re still paying them but they’re not here,” he said. “They clean out their desk and they’re gone. I’m gonna do mine a little different. I’m not gonna clean my desk out. I will come back if they need me on certain things.”
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JeffCo Commissioners Look Forward to Dropping Social Distance at Meetings, Pledge $5 Million for UAB Genomics Building

As today’s Jefferson County Commission meeting reached its end, Joe Knight rose from his seat in front of the dais and put his name plate in front of the one for Lashunda Scales.

“When we return, I reclaim my seat,” Knight declared.

Steve Ammons, who like Knight has been seated at a table below their fellow commissioners, chimed in. “I’m tired of being a second-hand commissioner,” he joked.

The lighthearted banter came as commissioners announced that today’s meeting will be the last one held during the state of emergency Gov. Kay Ivey declared last year to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Social distancing requirements and then recommendations have been part of public safety orders the governor has issued during the state of emergency. Read more.

Jeffco Considers $5 Million Pledge to UAB’s Genomics Sciences Program

The Jefferson County Commission will consider on Thursday a pledge of $5 million for the genomics sciences program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

At their committee meeting Tuesday, commissioners placed the proposal on the agenda for this week’s meeting.

The county is set to pledge $1 million a year for five years to help UAB with the expansion and construction of a new genomics sciences and research building.

The move of the action to Thursday’s agenda came after an appeal from UAB President Ray Watts, who said the building will span 540,000 square feet.

“It is perfectly situated to take genomic information and data science and predict what kinds of treatments might be effective for cancers,” Watts said. “You can also predict what diseases we might be a risk for so we can control those risk factors and avoid ever having that disease.
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Consultant Chosen to Conduct Search for New Jefferson County Manager

Jefferson County commissioners learned Tuesday about the local company that will be tasked with looking for a new county manager.

County Manager Tony Petelos, who announced his retirement recently, told commissioners at their committee meeting that Wheless Partners will conduct a nationwide search for his replacement.

“They’re going to be contacting all the commissioners to get input,” Petelos said. “I felt like having a local company would be better than having a company from out of state.”
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