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Council looks at needed paving

The Demopolis City Council asked Bob Evans, engineer with Almon Associates, to prepare a list of city streets which most need paving.

The council must approve a list for the fiscal year 2003 paving project.

Work has begun on paving the road to the Demopolis airport and the road at the Demopolis SportsPlex through a recent Alabama Department of Transportation grant. A list of streets had been considered for repair under the ADOT grant, but the grant money could only cover the airport and SportsPlex roads.

The following roads will no doubt be considered again for the 2003 paving project:

Dow, from Spencer to Lake Lane; South Cherry, from Perry to Jackson; Perry, from Cherry to Cedar; Perry, from Commissioners to Desnouette; Pettus, from Walnut to Cedar; South Cherry, from Perry to Jackson; and Spencer, from Dow to North End.

The council members will also provide a list of streets needing repair in their districts. Councilman Woody Collins said the council and Evans would pool the lists in a joint effort in what would be best for the city as a whole.

Ben Sherrod suggested to the council that improvements be made to the old Lock and Dam Road. Half of the road is maintained by the city; the other half by the county.

Evans also gave the councilmen a document which gives the history of street paving in the city from 1986 to 2002.

In other action from Thursday’s meeting, Councilman Willard Williams expressed concern about the last-minute cancellation of a Planning Commission meeting Wednesday.

A large group of residents showed up for the meeting, and Williams was himself not aware of the cancellation. City Clerk Vickie Taylor said she did not know until late that there were not enough members available for a quorum. She did not have phone numbers for the approximately 30 people related to zoning requests on the agenda for the meeting.

Mayor Austin Caldwell said he has asked the League of Municipalities to put in legislation that will allow the Planning Commission to have alternate members so there will be a quorum.

The council approved a request by Roosevelt and Rosa Hall to rezone property at 502 Third Avenue from an I2 to R3 zone. They plan to remove a house and erect a mobile home.

The rezoning of property from R2 to BLI-C at 602 Maria was also approved. Ben Sherrod plans to erect mini-storage buildings on the site.

The rezoning ordinance states that the property must be used for mini-storage buildings only or the zoning reverts back.

The council voted to continue to pay fees for the Alabama Peace Officers Annuity (being raised from $10 to $20 per month per officer) and fees for the Alabama Peace Officers benefit fund ($20 per year per officer).

Public Safety Director Jeff Manuel called the annuity and benefit "an added incentive" for officers."

There was a discussion on what department should maintain the restrooms at the new pavilion at the City Landing. It was decided that the Public Works Department would maintain the restrooms.

There was also discussion regarding how people renting the Demopolis Civic Center can return keys to the city after an event. Previously the keys were maintained at the Demopolis Police Department but it is not open at night seven days a week, the mayor said.

The city had asked the county E-911 board if the keys could be kept at their office at the civic center, which is open 24 hours a day.

The E-911 board had approved the operators supervising the keys. People who rent the civic center must bring the keys no later than 2 a.m.

E-911 Director Eleanor Park told the council Thursday that there are some security concerns for the E-911 telecommunicators as well as the renters.

Councilman Collins suggested a lock box where the keys could be placed. However, the city has a procedure where renters are expected to sign out the keys.

Mayor Caldwell said the procedure might need to be fine tuned, and he would talk to the E-911 board again for final approval.

Buddy Simpson of the Woodmen of the World Insurance Company will donate a 30-foot flagpole to the city as a memorial to the September 11, 2001 tragedy.

A dedication ceremony is planned for September 11, 2002, and City Horticulturist Amanda Smith suggested the pole be placed at the new City Landing pavilion.

In addition, Smith is again taking applications for an assistant.

The council went to executive session regarding a personnel matter.