County enacts new policies on firearms
by Brian Anderson
banderson@annistonstar.com
Aug 08, 2013 | 3664 views |  0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
New policies adopted by the Calhoun County Commission on Thursday ban county employees from carrying guns on the job and prohibit residents from bringing guns into county buildings.

County Attorney Tom Sowa said new policies were in response to a law passed earlier this year that eliminates regulations on the open carrying of firearms throughout the state.

“They (employees) can’t have firearms on them, with a provision for certain circumstances,” Sowa said on the county’s new employee policy. “We ask they keep them locked in their vehicles.”

During the work session prior to the meeting, Commissioner J.D. Hess asked Sowa if there were exceptions for employees in certain circumstances.

“What about animal control,” Hess said. “If they’re assisting the Sheriff’s Office in a situation and there’s a vicious dog that attacks them, they need a gun.”

Sowa said a provision in the policy granted certain exceptions, which would be up to department heads to decide based on the situation.

Existing policy already prohibited weapons in the County Administration Building, but Sowa said the policy was updated to include other county property such as courthouse annexes and the probate judge’s office.

“We ask the public not to bring firearms into the buildings,” Sowa said. “That’s what those signs outside are for.”

In other business, the commission:

• Accepted responsibility for maintenance of Emily’s Circle and Logan’s Landing Road in the Taylor’s Bend subdivision near Pleasant Valley. County Engineer Brian Rosenbalm said the roads had been built to meet county guidelines.

• Added three desks, a 1982 Ford Enonoline Van used by the County Emergency Management Agency and a 2006 THOR trailer used by the County Sheriff’s Office to surplus items.

• Extended a contract with McCain Uniforms for Sheriff’s Office uniforms through August 2014.

• Appointed Mike Kimberly and Dick Bell to the Rails-to-Trails Public Parks and Recreation Board for a term of five years each. The board works to turn old railroad tracks into recreational paths.

• Approved a resolution to apply for a Community Development Block Grant for slum and blight removal. The requested amount from the grant is $350,000 with the county matching $70,000.

• Approved giving $109,000 to the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission to pay for its portion of the county’s public transportation system for the 2014 fiscal year.

• Dismissed nuisance abatements at 516 Sequoya Drive and 612 Tillman Ave. in Anniston, 109 Mac Alexander Road in Piedmont, and 911 Smith Road in Weaver.

• Declared nuisance abatements at 203 Rice St., 2033 Old Choccolocco Road, 4525 Asbury Ave. and 3108 Old Birmingham Highway in Anniston.

Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.

Editor's note: This story has been changed to correct the name of an appointee to the Rails-to-Trails Public Park and Recreation Board. The new board member is Mike Kimberly.

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