03-03-11 Alert Team Arrives Friday
Alert Team Arrives Friday
The City of McDonough will be home to 12 young men, members of the ALERT Team currently involved in emergency response training in Big Sandy, Texas, from Friday night until their departure next Thursday.
While training in Texas, the ALERT Team provides free labor for various city and/or community projects only when requested by a government entity and only when their schedule permits. “Mayor Billy Copeland and the City Council sent a letter requesting the team to include McDonough this year which is the only reason they are coming,” explained Blake Turner, local volunteer and organizer of this and past efforts involving the ALERT Team.
These able-bodied men, ages 18-25, will be working on two projects for the city. This Saturday, team members, with the help of local volunteers, will demolish Alexander Park’s Pavilion1 located on Highway 42. This structure was damaged by falling tree limbs some time ago and is in such bad repair that the decision was made to tear it down. Depending on the weather, these workers will try to construct a new somewhat larger pavilion in its place before ending work on day one.
Starting on Monday and for their remaining time in McDonough, the focus of work will be on construction of the new pedestrian bridge at Alexander Park. The ALERT Team will be departing McDonough on Thursday with, hopefully, both projects completed.
“Flippen United Methodist Church is allowing the team to stay in their large building at Shingleroof Campground,” said Turner. “Individuals, churches and the city are providing meals for the ALERT Team and volunteers while working on these projects.” McDonough City Administrator Billy Beckett noted that C. M. Smith and Mayor Billy Copeland have also worked very hard in conjunction with Blake Turner to coordinate the meals and housing needed.
“We are very grateful for their assistance, as well as that of Blake Turner and all others involved,” said City Administrator Beckett. “Special thanks too to Public Works Director Lee Hearn and our Public Works staff. Lee has basically saved us thousands of dollars by engineering the bridge and approaches in Alexander Park, and he is currently designing a framing system to replace the damaged Pavilion at the old portion of Alexander Park. Special thanks also to Joe Chappell and all of the staff who are laboring to properly install the footings and beams for the crossing. This is truly an example of team work at its very best all of which will greatly benefit the city,” added Beckett.
“The young men of the ALERT team are among the best of the best. They have renovated upwards of 300 homes in our community in the past decade, as well as having built a multitude of structures and provided landscaping services throughout our community. The savings to our city and citizens are immeasurable. I am grateful to Mr. Blake Turner and his wife, Carol, who organize these local projects on behalf of our government. We are fortunate to have so many tremendous people donating their time and service,” said Mayor Copeland as he too express his appreciation and gratitude to those involved.