Sumiton Fire and Rescue boasts county’s best rating
by Rachel Davis
Story from The Daily Mountain Eagle
SUMITON — Once again, Sumiton Fire and Rescue has received the best fire protection rating in Walker County.
The standard used for these ratings is set by the Insurance Services Office, Inc. In the most recent inspection, Sumiton received a rating of 3/9, which will take effect on June 1. The scores are based on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best rating available.
According to ISO’s website, the two numbers indicate a split rating. The first number applies to properties within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant. The second number applies to properties beyond 1,000 feet of a hydrant.
On Friday, ISO also released numbers for Curry, which received a rating of 6/9 on the most recent inspection and Parrish, which will be rated 5/9 beginning in June. Every other department in the county currently has a 5/9 or higher rating.
Nationwide, only 716 departments have higher ratings (Class 1 or 2) and only 2,237 of the almost 49,000 departments rated by ISO received a rating of 3. That places Sumiton in the top 6 percent of departments in the country.
Already the lowest in the county, with a 4/9, Fire Chief David Waid said the city officials and members of the fire department had worked diligently to lower the score.
“There is a lot of work that has gone into this,” Mayor Petey Ellis agreed. He also said he was proud of the employees and volunteers who made the lower rating possible.
The score is determined using a formula weighting communications at 10 percent, water supply at 40 percent and the fire department itself at 50 percent.
Waid credited the 911 for making many improvements in the communication systems that helped the score. He also said the city adding personnel inside Sumiton’s dispatch to help with responses to fire alarms improved that communications score.
He also touted Sumiton’s water department and supply for keeping that score high.
The fire department itself was graded on equipment and personnel. The department currently has two people on duty and averages 13 people responding to the first alarm on a structure fire.
Businesses will see the highest savings on insurance from the new rating, although homeowners will see some savings on their homeowner’s insurance as well, if their insurance company uses ISO ratings to determine loss risk.
But, most importantly to Waid, it means that the residents are being protected. He gives a lot of that credit to Mayor Petey Ellis and the city council, for allowing him to run the department and making sure they are never without the equipment they need to protect themselves, the residents and their property.
Read more: Daily Mountain Eagle - Sumiton Fire and Rescue boasts county s best rating
Backyard Blessing gets a new truck
Story by Rachel Davis,
from The Daily Mountain Eagle
When Backyard Blessings first began, the group loaded their food bags into personal vehicles and drove them to the school, but as the program expanded that became increasingly difficult. Now, with 400 food bags going to five schools, loading the heavy crates of food had become almost impossible. In addition to the weight and dangers of lifting the containers repeatedly, many times the group’s volunteers are older community members who have the time to pack the bags but aren’t able to lift the heavy boxes.
“We didn’t know what we were going to do, but we couldn’t do that much longer,” Executive Director and Founder Leneda Jones said. When asked about the group’s two greatest needs last year, Jones responded space and transportation. With Mark and Phillip Bozeman stepping up to donate excess space at the back of the Dora Piggly Wiggly, Jones saw one of those needs met last fall. The transportation need was met this week when AT&T Alabama stepped in to donate $5,000 to purchase a small panel truck for the group to use in deliveries.
Terri Williams, regional director of external affairs for AT&T Alabama, said after she spoke to Jones about the group’s needs last year, they were happy to be able to help.
“We are glad that we were able to help,” Williams said. “Figuratively and literally, this puts the spirit of giving in motion. We want to be able to help where we’re the most needed.”
Jones said the panel truck has greatly improved the delivery process, with a ramp to easy loading and unloading and being able to carry all the containers at once, rather than making multiple trips or use multiple vehicles.
“We are just so grateful and blessed by this,” Jones said. “We didn’t have to apply or fill out a grant or anything, they came to us.”
The group is hoping to get the truck painted or wrapped to cover the old bread company logos that currently adorn the sides of the panels, but just having the vehicle has been a major improvement for the group so far.
The nonprofit, started in 2010, provides food to children in the community who are in need by placing a bag of food discretely inside their backpack every Friday afternoon during the school year. The items are single-serving, ready-to-eat items the kids can serve themselves so they don’t go hungry on weekends when they are away from school.
When the group started, they were serving 100 children at Sumiton Elementary/Middle School, but soon grew to cover other elementary schools in Dora, Cordova and Jasper through community donations. The group always has a waiting list of children in need and looks to expand its numbers as well as the schools covered whenever an opportunity presents itself.
“She is definitely filling a need,” Williams said of Jones and the program.
Donations to Backyard Blessings can be made by calling Jones at 544-9094 or sent by mail to P.O. Box 129 Sumiton, AL 35148.
Sumiton Purchased Property for Walking Track
Story from the Daily Mountain Eagle
SUMITON — Mayor Petey Ellis expressed his gratitude to Dora Mayor Chris Edward, his staff and the Dora City Council for the sale of railroad property extending from Bozeman's Grocery Store to the bridge at Horse Creek Golf Course during Tuesday's regularly scheduled meeting of the Sumiton City Council. With the sale of the property, Sumiton can begin to seek a grant for funding for a proposed walking track that would tie in to an upcoming sidewalk project that is currently under bid. If completed, Sumiton's walking track could be connected to Dora's to create a nine-mile-long attraction that could be a significant draw for athletic events. Ellis reaffirmed his city's commitment to begin the construction of the walking trail within a two-year period or revert the offer back to Dora. "I don't foresee any problems in obtaining the funding for our track," Ellis said. "It will be after the first part of the year before we can apply for the grant, but I feel sure that we'll get the money we need and begin work shortly afterward." In other action from Tuesday's meeting: •The Council voted unanimously to accept a $245,735.50 bid on its planned sidewalk project from Powe General Contractors of Hanceville, after receiving a letter of recommendation from Nelson Engineers and the Alabama Department of Transportation. •The Council passed a motion to pay two increments of $5,421 for grant-matching purposes on three city projects. •The Council unanimously voted to pay for improvements to the Sumiton football field. •Ellis reported the city received a letter of gratitude for the Sumiton Fire and Police Department's participation in last weekend's Frog Festival and the Sumiton Christian Homecoming Parade. "Our turnout for the festival was tremendous and the people who worked to help put it all together did a great job," Ellis said. "The Frog Festival continues to grow every year and what caught my eye is that we had vendors from Mobile and Marianna, Fla., who came to sell items at the event. We thank everyone involved in it." Read more: Daily Mountain Eagle - Ellis grateful to Dora for sale of property
Free Yoga Classes on Monday Nights
The Sumiton Senior Center hosts free yoga classes each Monday night at 7 p.m. Jilda Watson is a certified yoga instructor and the class is open to everyone of all ages - both men and women.
The practice of yoga increases strength, flexibility, balance, and overall health. The class ends with fifteen minutes of relaxation which helps people in today's high-stress world.
The City of
City of Sumiton is located on the eastern edge of Walker County
and the city limits extend into Jefferson County. Some of
the friendliest people on the planet live here.
Within the last several years Sumiton has
grown extensively with the addition of several national chain
stores and lots of new restaurants, and many other local businesses
which combined make Sumiton a bustling area of commerce.
Sumiton is also the home of Bevill State Community College
which has grown exponentially over the last several years.
Sumiton School which is K-8 is one of the largest schools
in Walker County.
The Library which is located at city hall has a large selection
of books for the entire family. Also available for Library
visitors is a computer with Internet access which is ideal
for research, job hunting, and educational pursuits.
There are upscale subdivisions and charming
older homes in the area depending on your tastes. Sumiton
recently completed construction of a multi-function Senior
Citizen Center which server the people of Sumiton and surrounding
communities. The Senior Center is a hub of activity for
Seniors and a place where they can meet, play games, eat
hot meals and enjoy companionship. The Senior Center is
also a safe shelter for the community during violent weather
situations. Click here for photos
of the Senior Center.
All of this together makes Sumiton is a great
place to raise your family.
Sumiton Area Veteran's Memorial Holds Wreath Laying Service
Citizens from Sumiton and the surrounding
area gathered at the Sumition Community Center on Saturday, May 29 and held a "laying of the wreath" ceremony for area veterans.
The service was for all veterans from the area who have served America through the years. The wreath was ceremony was for those soldiers who gave their lives in service to this country.
Bill Fowler who heads the Veteran's Memorial Committee along with Mayor Petey Ellis presided over the ceremony. The Walker County Honor Guard performed
The dedication for the Veteran's Memorial
is scheduled for September 11th 2010. There are still a limited number of memorial granite stones available for those who would like to purchase one of a in honor of a local veteran.
The granite paver stones will help finance the monument. The committee is selling paver stones which will be a permanent part of the memorial.
The pavers (pictured below) will contain the name and other information about local veterans. The deadline for getting your paver in place before the 9/11/10 event is August 1st 2010.
Pavers cost $100 each and contain 3 lines, 21 characters per line (including spaces and special characters). The link below has the form that should be used for each paver.
Click here to view photos from the Laying of the Wreath Ceremony.
Council members presented $15,000 grant
SUMITON — Tommy Sherer, Alabama House representative for District 13, presented Sumiton Mayor Petey Ellis with a $15,000 grant check during Tuesday’s meeting of the Sumiton City Council.
“We are glad when Council members from our district visit our meetings,” Ellis said upon receiving the check. “We are very appreciative of our representatives and will use this check to help take care of landscaping around the community center.”
Full story courtesy of the Daily Mountain Eagle
Sumiton Frog Festival
2009 Sumiton Frog had picture perfect weather again.
The long-range forecast did not bode well but the rain
moved out on Friday afternoon and the skies were blue
as a swimming pool. It would be hard to order up a better
day off a menu of Great Day options.
The air was cool before sunrise but when the sun peeked up above the horizon
and burned off the early morning dew, the weather was perfect.
There is no way to count the number of people that attend the festival, but at
one point looking down main street in either direction was wall-to-wall people>
The vendors seemed happy this year as people were not only out in droves, but
they were buying more than in years past.
Below is a link to photos from this year's festival.
Click here for FrogFotos