By Crystal McGough, For La Tribune
PINSON – Pinson City Council had a first reading on Thursday, February 24, of a proposal to provide a feasibility study for the potential creation of a Pinson public school system.
“It’s important to understand that just because we’re doing the feasibility study — it helps us know what we don’t know — doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to resume our schools,” Mayor Joe Cochran said during of the pre-Board meeting. “It just gives you the information in case you want to. He gives you a map and a plan. “
The feasibility study will cost $8,500. Several residents in attendance spoke to council in support of the feasibility study and expressed concerns about the current condition of the schools, including mold, sewage backing up in schools, electrical issues, air conditioning issues , etc
“Whatever the city decides to do, $8,500 isn’t a lot of money to acquire as much information as possible,” Pinson resident Traci Thompson said. “Whether you decide to part ways with the Board of Education or decide to stay, you can take this information and use it. … The time has come. We are tired. We are tired as parents; we are tired as a community.
Cochran said he met on Wednesday with Jefferson County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Walter Gonsoulin, to discuss several items, including this proposal.
“I want to be completely open and upfront with the Board of Education about anything we think or plan to do,” Cochran said. “…The conversations I had with Dr. G. yesterday were good conversations. He was very frank with me. I was very upfront with him about where I think the board stands with all of this and what our concerns are in our buildings. … My job is to make our city the best it can be, and our schools are part of that. I hope every citizen in this room tonight, as well as the public watching at home, knows that this whole council cares about our children. We realize that our school is made up of children who come from inside and outside our city limits, and probably more children come from outside our limits than from inside our limits. I really don’t care; they are all our children, whether they live in the city of Pinson or not. They go to our schools, they are our children.
Cochran went on to say that while no council member currently has children attending Pinson schools, the entire council is passionate about the schools and the children who attend them.
“We pour out on these kids, we play in plays with these kids, we have Friday night football games with these kids, we stand aside and do the chain gang for years and years for these children,” he said. “We do a lot for these children because we love them, and we want them to have the best education possible, and that includes the best facilities.”
The board will review the feasibility study proposal at the next board meeting.
In other matters, the board unanimously approved motions regarding three applications from Pinson Valley High School and Rudd Middle School.
The city will provide the fine arts department of PVHS with $4,000 to help fund its new visual arts academy. Additionally, the board approved $3,500 for cleanup around the baseball field at PVHS.
The city will also provide the Rudd Middle School Theater Department with $400 for lumber and materials needed to build plays.
In addition, the Board approved the following:
- Reappointment of Barry Wilson to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a six-year term, beginning January 1, 2022
- Resolution 22-09, appointing Marvelyn Deese to the Zoning Board of Adjustments for a three-year term, effective January 1, 2022
- Motion to approve $15,000 for CityFest, which will take place May 7, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Motion to elect Mayor Cochran as a voting delegate for the League of Alabama Municipalities conference, as well as appointing Alderman John Churchwell as the first alternative and Alderman Robbie Roberts as the second alternative
- Resolution 22-10, approving the purchase of a 2019 Freightliner M2-106 grapple truck for $109,650
- Resolution 22-11, entering into a contract with the Greater Birmingham Humane Society for animal control and pound services
- Motion to approve removal and installation of backups at PHCC and PYSC in the amount of $4,200 each
- Motion to approve funding for the “Boot Camp Fitness” class which will be offered free to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Rock School Complex
The next meeting of the Pinson municipal council will take place on Thursday, March 3, 2022, at the Pinson town hall. The pre-council will begin at 6:15 p.m. and the regular meeting will begin at 7 p.m.