RANBURNE — Monday night’s meeting of the Ranburne Town Council marked the beginning of a new chapter in the life of the town under the leadership of Mayor Rodney Brown.
“Y'all are witnessing my first council meeting as mayor and I want to welcome everybody here,” Brown said.
Brown beat out challenger Samantha Smith in a municipal election in August; it was also the town’s first contested election in 28 years.
Brown recognized all the guests in attendance and then he and council quickly got to the business of running the town as the council unanimously approved the following measures:
— Authorized a debit card for the town from Southern States bank with a $1,000 limit to be used for smaller transactions.
— Approved the use of First Net phones for town officials and first responders. The phones are basically free of charge but the town will have to pay a monthly fee.
— Approved for the creation of a website for the town.
— Approved the purchase of three laptops and printers with funds from the CARES act COVID-19 fund.
— Approved to repair the town’s car which is used to deliver meals to seniors. The vehicle needs an alignment, brake pads, suspension repairs and the removal of a nail from one of the tires. The total for repairs is $437.
The mayor said the Cleburne County Health Department will offer flu shots during a drive-in at the Town Hall on Dec. 2 from 9 a.m. until noon. The cost for the shot is $15 if a person does not have insurance.
In other health business during the meeting, the mayor recognized Skipper Harmon, owner of Lifeline Emergency Medical Services. The Georgia ambulance company now has ambulances stationed in Ranburne, yet 911 calls for help do not go directly to them.
Brown said if a person calls 911, Cleburne County EMS has priority by contract to get that call first, then it has the option to pass that call to Oxford, Lifeline or whoever is needed.
“We’re going to work toward getting that matter resolved if I can on behalf of the citizens of Ranburne,” Brown said.
Brown said that Cleburne EMS — based in Heflin — can take up to 30 minutes to arrive to help a patient in the Ranburne area. Brown himself said he had to wait 30 minutes for Cleburne EMS when he suffered an injury but that was before Lifeline decided to locate in the town.
“We appreciate the fact that you’re in town and we appreciate the business that you're providing for the citizens of Ranburne,” Brown told Harmon.
The council then discussed the town Christmas tree lighting at Town Hall scheduled for next Monday night at 6 p.m. Pam Thompson, city clerk, said an ice cream truck will be on site for refreshments and performer Jason Cole will sing.
On Saturday, Dec. 5, the town will hold its first Christmas on Main which will include a 5K run, classic car show, Santa Claus, mistletoe market, a live nativity scene, a petting zoo, music and a Christmas parade.
The next council meeting will be on Dec. 28 at 6 p.m.