Council tables plan for second time

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &045; An article in a Talladega newspaper has raised another question about the wisdom of the city paying the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission to develop a comprehensive plan for the city.

Councilman Jack Cooley had tabled the council’s consideration of funding for a comprehensive plan that Mayor Cecil Williamson requested two months ago. This is the second time the council tabled the plan.

Cooley said he read in The Talladega Daily Home about a strategic plan completed for the City of Talladega by the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission, a counterpart to the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission.

Cooley wants to know if the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission would do the same thing for the City of Demopolis.

Councilman Woody Collins said he believes the ATRC has made it clear they charge for the work they have proposed, but agreed that the question needs to be asked.

According to The Talladega Daily Home, the comprehensive plan completed for the City of Talladega was developed to &8220;serve as a guide for the future growth and development of the city.

This document is to be used as a basis for policy and zoning decisions in the community through the year 2020,&8221; quoting from an abstract from the front of the 131-page document.

Williamson, who is on vacation this week and was not at last night’s city council meeting, said in earlier interviews that she is seeking a plan that would look 20 years into the future. It would be a more comprehensive plan than the current strategic plan the city uses. That plan expires at the end of this month.

Both Collins and Councilman Melvin Yelverton previously stated they felt the votes were there to pass funding for the plan. It is expected to come back up for consideration next month.

In other action, the council:

4 Gave approval to the Industrial Development Board to apply for the Spec Building Program through Alabama Power. The program provides 70 percent funding at no interest for four years to build a spec building to entice economic development. IDB President Jay Shows told the board they just sold their only spec building to Newell Paper Company, who is expected to move part of their operation.

4 Presented Demopolis CATV with a certificate of appreciation for hanging Christmas decorations on lightpoles for the city.

4Approved a salary of $45,000 annually for interim Fire Chief Tommy Tate.

4Tabled an ABC license request for &8220;El Portal&8221; because Police Chief Jeff Manuel has not had a chance to review it.