Whaley to build shelter

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Troy City Council awarded the bid on the Pike County Animal Shelter to Whaley Construction during its Tuesday meeting.

Whaley Construction offered a total bid of $854,000, which includes two alternate amounts. The alternate amounts are estimated amounts that will be provided by Pike County.

“The building is extremely nice,” said Walter McKee with McKee and Associates. “I think it will be a valuable edition to the landscape in Troy as well as providing the purpose of the building.”

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During the work session, McKee presented a blueprint of the building sketches, showing the Council the front of the building and the layout of the inside.

McKee said the design of the building was influenced by those who would be maintaining the animal shelter, who said they wanted it to look appealing to the public so that they would want to adopt animals.

The shelter will house up to 42 dogs and 12 to 20 cats, depending on how many are in one cage.

“We have worked on this project for a long time,” said Troy Mayor Jason Reeves. “It has been in the design phase for about six months, and I feel like we have come up with a building that is designed for long-term quality.”

McKee said the construction would take approximately six months to complete.

A Troy local, Willie Williams Sr., approached the Council with an issue concerning his son, Willie Williams Jr. Williams Sr. said that his son was pulled over by a Troy Police officer and was uncomfortable with what happened.

“I was not satisfied with the officer stopping (my son) when he was trying to do his job,” Williams Sr. said.

Williams Jr. joined his father in front of the Council to explain what happened that night.

Williams Jr. said he was pulled over on Oct. 31 at approximately 1:19 a.m. Williams Jr., a mortician, was responding to a call to remove a deceased person from a residence. Because he was on the job, he was driving a hearse.

“I was not speeding or breaking the law,” Williams Jr. said. “When I got pulled over, he asked me why I was in a hearse at one in the morning. I explained that people day in the day as well as the night. He kept saying that it seemed suspicious to be in the hearse in that time of the morning.”

Williams Jr. said that the officer ran his tag number and looked around the vehicle. The officer also ran his driver’s license.

“He didn’t believe anything I was saying,” Williams Jr. said. “I felt like I was profiled and harassed because I shouldn’t have been stopped.”

The Council meeting was not the first time he had made the issue known. Williams Jr. said that he had made a complaint with Troy Police Chief Randall Barr prior to the meeting, and that he had spoken on the phone with Barr and the officer that pulled him over.

Barr told Williams Jr. that the officer thought that the vehicle he was driving was a stolen vehicle. The officer had seen a black car speed away earlier that night and said he thought Williams Jr. was driving that car.

“That story did not add up to me,” Williams Jr. said. “There is a difference between a black car and a blue hearse.

“I think this is a great city, but I think we have some things that need to be fixed, he continued. “I think the officers need more training.”

Williams Sr. returned to the podium to clarify that he and his son are not trying to “start a fire,” but are trying to inform officials to make Troy a better place.

“Troy is a wonderful place,” Williams Sr. said. “All I’m trying to do is uplift it so that others can come here and to help our city be a better city.”

Williams Sr. requested that the City of Troy and Chief Barr apologize to his son and to review the camera footage from the police car.

“I’ll be glad to meet with (Williams Sr.),” Reeves said. “I don’t know the policy on the cameras, but I think it would be beneficial to look at them and talk about what happened.”

Barr echoed Reeves’ statements about the situation, saying that he has never heard anything negative in the community about Williams Jr. and doesn’t want anyone to feel targeted by his officers.

“It’s not our goal to make anyone feel small or embarrassed,” Barr said.

The council also unanimously approved the Ordinance 356 issuance and sale of water, electric and sewer revenue warrants.

Councilwoman Dejerilyn King Henderson awarded the December 2015 District 5 Yard of the Month to Betty Hobbs on Montgomery Street during the meeting.

Reeves and the Council members all stated that they were praying for the Hank Jones family after his death last week.

“Jones was not only a good person and principal; he was a great Christian,” said Councilman Greg Meeks.

Councilman Marcus Paramore echoed his statement by saying that Jones was “steadfast in his faith.”

“He was an outstanding person and he worked very hard in our community,” Henderson said.

Reeves reminded the Council and the audience that the City will be closed on Thursday and Friday. Thursday’s garbage routes will be picked up on Wednesday, and Friday’s garbage routes will be picked up on Monday.