Council debates annexation, ice machine

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 18, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Sometimes the simplest items &8212; say approving a vending machine &8212; can take more time than one might think necessary.

Such was the case during last night&8217;s city council meeting where what would normally be routine matters came with caveats that required in-depth discussion that at times wander into a surreal realm.

Collins and every other council member were debating whether or not Lamb&8217;s vending machine would be prohibited by a statute that outlawed modular buildings in retail areas. But what Lamb proposed is a machine where people put money into a slot and a product pops out.

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Of course, it&8217;s a bit bigger than your normal Coca-Cola machine. The ice vending machine is a 8 feet by 24 feet, thus Collins&8217; eventual declaration.

The council approved the machine by a 5-0 vote with the mayor abstaining.

Prior to this discussion came Ben Sherrod&8217;s request for the City of Demopolis to annex his property. What could have been a straightforward request was complicated by a map &8212; a map belonging to the city that showed his property already inside municipal lines.

However, Sherrod said city attorney Rick Manley has researched the actual municipal limits and that, according to legislative action and state records, his property lies completely outside the city limits.

So where did the map showing his property inside the city come from? No one seems to know. But one thing was clear: annexing property was going to take more than a night and a simple vote.

In the end, the council voted unanimously to formally consider Sherrod&8217;s request at the next meeting.

The council also voted to identify all city vehicles with the city crest and department insignia. They considered two options: a magnet and a stick-on adhesive seal.

Councilman Melvin Yelverton has been pushing for the decals for months because he claims some city employees have abused the vehicles by taking them on personal trips to other cities.

An ad-hoc committee appointed by the council to study the logos recommended using the adhesive logos on older vehicles and the magnets on newer vehicles over concern of damage that could be done by the adhesive logos.

Yelverton, however, motioned for the adhesive logos to be used on all vehicles. He said using magnets would defeat his initial purpose of seeking the markings because employees could simply pull the magnets off when they were out of town on personal business.

Yelverton&8217;s motion failed by a vote of 3-2 with the mayor abstaining. Collins made a motion to allow each department head to choose what kind of logo to use. His motion passed 6-0.

One of the quickest matters dispensed with had little talking. In fact, it was the silence that was both defeaning and &8212; so far as the motion was concerned &8212; deadly.

Williamson told the council that the Building Committee talked with the Rosenbush family about the Rosenbush Warehouse.

Councilman Thomas Moore then made a motion for the council to pass a resolution that declared the property to be surplus and would allow the city to sell it.

After several uncomfortable moments and a repeated call for a second to the motion, the mayor&8217;s proposition died due to lack of a second.

The highlight of the meeting, however, was when the council presented Ravee Owens with a proclamation praising him for his bravery in rescuing 9-year-old La&8217;Kendrick Wright, who almost drowned last month.

The mayor said Councilman Jack Cooley brought the act of heroism to her attention after he read about it in the newspaper.

For more coverage of Thursday night&8217;s meeting, see Saturday&8217;s edition of The Demopolis Times.