Town of Union constructs first community storm shelter

L to R: Town Council members Helen Sanford, Louise Harkness, Gene Colvin and Mayor James Gaines; Town Council members Rosie Davis and Alonzo Thompson.

The Town of Union, Greene County, cut the ribbon on its completed storm shelter at a special program held Tuesday, October 17, 2017 on the town’s municipal complex. Mayor James Gaines and the Town Council welcomed the residents and friends who gathered to witness the grand event.
“This is truly a great moment for us. We got passed over the first time the Town of Union was designated to receive funds for our community storm shelter, so we took matters into our own hands and not only made plans to construct the shelter, but we carried it out those plans,” Mayor Gaines stated.

“ We are proud of ourselves and very appreciative of those who did assist us,” he said.
According to Ms. Marilyn Sanford, town clerk, “It took just about one year to complete our project, from the time the specs were let in October 2016 to this grand occasion in 2017.”
At a cost of approximately $83, 000, coming from Bingo resources, the Union Storm Shelter is 48 ft. in length, 10 ft. Wide and 8ft. in height. The structure is designed to hold about 100 individuals, but can really contain many more.
Mayor Gaines and the Town Council emphasized that the Union Storm Shelter is not just for the Union community. “This shelter will be open to all who are in need of a safe haven when a severe storm hits. We will not turn away anyone,” they stated.
Greene County officials attending the ceremony included County Commissioners Lester Brown, Tennyson Smith and Allen Turner; Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison; Hodges Smith, President of the Association of VFD; Iris Sermon, Director of E911; Boligee Town Council Member Teresa Mack; Kinya Turner represented Forkland Mayor Charlie McCalpine; and Carol Zippert, Vice-President, Greene County Board of Education.

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