Officer who saved man from fire honored by city council

Published 5:16 pm Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A police officer going the extra mile to protect and serve, removal of blights on the city’s landscape, and an opportunity to promote the county’s recreational opportunities were on the top of the agenda at Monday night’s Greenville City Council meeting.

Officer Josh Williams of the Greenville PD received special recognition for his heroic efforts to save a man trapped in a burning house.

The home of Willie Miller Sr., located outside the city limits, was involved in a recent fire.

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Williams got the go-ahead to assist at the situation.

Once he learned someone was trapped inside, “Officer Williams went inside to get Mr. Miller, who had succumbed to smoke inhalation,” said Chief Lonzo Ingram.

The thickness of the smoke forced the officer back out of the building for air more than once, but with some assistance, Williams was eventually able to carry Miller to safety.

“I’d be willing to do it all over again,” said Williams, who was awarded a special certificate of commendation from Mayor Dexter McLendon for his bravery.

n It’s been a long time coming, but a number of the derelict structures creating eyesores in the Methodist and Baptist Hill neighborhoods in Greenville will be coming down.

The Greenville City Council voted on Monday to award the bid for the CDBG project to Liberty Design and Construction Company.

Liberty submitted the low bid of $67, 226.

“We’ve been waiting for this. That was a $250,000 CDBG grant, so we are hoping to be able to do even more houses with the monies,” McLendon said.

– Monies directed to the City of Greenville from the Department of Agriculture and Industries in November 2008 (for the development of a public-private marketing and tourism initiative for 21 Black Belt counties) will be returned to the Alabama Recreational Cooperative.

The ARC is an effort by government leaders, wildlife activists and business owners to promote outdoor activities across those counties.

“The money has been put in a CD and drew interest for us, and now it is time to give this seed money back,” said McLendon.

The money was held until all legalities of the cooperative were in place.

“I think this will be something really good for our community and county and those surrounding us,” McLendon said.

Conservation officials say, as a group, hunters spend around $1.4 billion a year in the state.

– In other new business, approval was given to authorize the city to serve as a host agency for the Senior Community Service Employment Program sponsored by the South Central Alabama Development Commission.

This will allow the employment of a part-time person at the Greenville Senior Nutrition Center.