Vinemont council up in arms over Air Evac contract

W.C. Mann

VINEMONT – The Vinemont Town Council met Tuesday evening, with Mayor Radginal Dodson and all council members present, along with Town Attorney Roy Williams.  Several items were on the agenda, but an item not on the agenda received a substantial amount of attention: Dodson gave a critical update on the town’s contract with Air Evac Lifeteam.

“The gentleman come by here,” began Dodson, “and according to those in power above him, they ran out of money to notify all the people in the town about their insurance that we ended up with.  It really didn’t sit too good with everybody that’s aware of the situation, me included.  I don’t think we’ve been treated right.  As far as I’m concerned, he hasn’t fulfilled his word.”

The notification in question was to inform Vinemont residents of the availability of Air Evac services under the town’s contract.  Not only has that not been done, but there was even a question of whether or not the company’s bulk mail notifications would reach the right people when they do go out.  Due to the odd boundaries between Vinemont, Cullman and West Point, the council says a good chance exists that Air Evac’s plan will offer service to people on the south side of town, who are actually Cullman residents and ineligible under the contract.  It could also fail to notify town residents near West Point.  The council also discussed alleged discrepancies in the representative’s claims about when the notification would take place.

“We’ve had all kinds of different stories,” said Dodson.

Councilwoman Sonya Mabry followed, “Well, I caught him in three different stories right up here (at town hall) the other day.  I happened to be here when he come, and I didn’t believe him.”

In the end, Williams offered to review the contract to see what Air Evac’s obligations are.  Beyond that, no council action was taken at the time.

The council also took up a previously tabled request from a local tattoo shop (the shop was not named and is for sale; the request came from the person looking to buy the shop) to extend its closing time from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.  The reason allegedly given by the potential new owner, according to Mabry, was to “get younger kids in there to get tattoos; he could do it after a certain time and not have to get permission from their parents.”

Williams pointed out that minors must have permission for tattoos, and that the law is not affected by time of day.  According to him, the late closing time would simply give kids a better chance to sneak out of their homes and get to the shop.  The council voted unanimously to leave the shop’s hours as they are.

Mike Graves presented the council with two matters.  He and the mayor found two rolls of used AstroTurf that would be appropriate as a durable, low-cost floor covering for the town park’s concession stand.  The council voted to purchase both rolls at a cost of $500.  He also presented information on a building that has been offered to the town for use in the park.  The building sits on private property, and the owner offered to donate it to Vinemont, if the town would pay to move it.  With an estimate of $1,175 in hand, the council voted to accept the building and move it to the park.

Lastly, Williams requested that the remainder of the meeting be an executive session, with no voting but closed to the public and press, to discuss “the sale, exchange, lease, purchase, convey real estate.  It’s an exception to the open meetings act, so I ask that y’all go into executive session to discuss it.”

With that, the public meeting was adjourned.

The Vinemont Town Council meets the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at Vinemont Town Hall.  The public is invited to attend.


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