Silverhill PD gets grant for ballistic vests


SILVERHILL, Alabama — The Silverhill Town Council voted at its meeting Monday, April 20 to accept a nearly $12,000 grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation to purchase ballistic vests for the Silverhill Police Department.

“Thank you to Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation for the generous award that will allow us to purchase ballistic vests for our officers,” Chief Kenny Hempfleng said in a press release issued by Firehouse Subs.

According to the release, the grant will be used to purchase 14 Level IIIA Ballistic Vests with carriers for police officers. The vests are being purchased at a 13 percent discounted rate of $899.99 each. The grant award totals $11,916, according to the release.

In 2005, the Firehouse Subs Founders established the 501(c)(3), non-profit Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. The charity provides funding resources, lifesaving equipment, prevention education, training and disaster relief support to first responders and public safety organizations. Since inception, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has granted more than $50 million to hometown heroes in 49 states and Puerto Rico.

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation is listed as a 4-star nonprofit organization by Charity Navigator, their highest designation. Grant allocations are made possible by the support of Firehouse Subs restaurants and donors.

More than 70 percent of the funds raised for the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation come from Firehouse Subs guests and the restaurant brand.

In July 2019, the Loxley Volunteer Fire Department received a grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation to purchase extrication equipment, or a state-of-the-art Hurst Jaws of Life for the department. In total the new system cost $29,255, all paid for by the grant.

In other business April 20, the council approved a resolution and engineering agreement with Civil Southeast for a resurfacing project.

After announcing at its Jan. 21 meeting that the town received a $250,000 Rebuild Alabama Grant for road resurfacing in 2020, council members discussed what it would take to repave all the streets under town maintenance.

The $250,000 grant will pay for resurfacing projects on First, Second, Third, Fourth, Seventh and Ninth Streets, and South Avenue. The grant would also pay for the widening of some of the streets.

At its meeting April 6, the council decided to proceed with the repaving project covered by the grant and not pursue repaving other streets at this time because the $700,000 price tag would be close to the town’s debt limit.

The town is currently setting aside $25,000 a year for street repaving, Lyles said, and will receive an additional $11,000 in 2020 from a recently passed state gas tax earmarked for infrastructure improvements.

The grant does not cover engineering fees, which should be covered by the $25,000 the town has already budgeted for 2020.

The resurfacing would not include Alabama 104 (Main Street), which would fall under the Alabama Department of Transportation, or County Road 55 (Broad Street), which would fall under the Baldwin County Highway Department’s jurisdiction.

Also on April 20, the council:

-- Approved spending up to $14,000 on remodeling the lobby at town hall.

-- Approved online grant writing classes through the University of South Alabama for assistant town clerk Cindy Shulze and court clerk Amy Macon at a cost of $122.

-- Discussed an agreement which would allow the town to use a new internet provider. No action was taken on the matter.

-- Discussed a pair of quotes received to replace a heating and air conditioning unit at Little Hall.

-- Discussed a project to run water lines on property in town. Mayor Jared Lyles said the property owner has agreed to pay $4,500 of the $6,000 total project, leaving the town to make up $1,500 of the project.

-- Lyles announced on behalf of Superintendent of Utilities Scottie Smith that the department has hired two temporary employees for the summer.