Council votes on site for municipal complex

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 18, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; After voting to approve a site for a new municipal complex, the city council came to a stalemate on the company who would design the new project.

The location for the project, the block the current Demopolis Police Department occupies, came at the recommendation of the Building Committee. The new complex is intended to house the municipal court, the police department headquarters and the fire department headquarters.

Councilman Thomas Moore also made the recommendation that the city continue to work with Brown Design Group, which had already been contracted by the city to do some initial work on an original site for the complex.

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Councilman Woody Collins objected to continuing to work with the company because they had been difficult to get information from in the past and had not been able to provide adequate site visits due to their lack of proximity to Demopolis.

Councilman Melvin Yelverton requested the discussion be continued until the next meeting because not all of the council was present. Councilman Jack Cooley was not at the meeting.

After a vote on the issue, Collins and Yelverton voted no, while Moore and Jones voted yes. The mayor abstained from the vote and the issue will go before the full council at a future meeting.

Lem Wilson Road light

In response to the recent urging of the residents of Lem Wilson Road, the council heard a resolution to erect a light at the entrance of the road and Highway 21. Although the resolution called for one light at the property, Yelverton requested a second light be added to the resolution, which was seconded by Jones.

Collins made the suggestion that an additional light could always be added to the property and the mayor pointed out the request was only for one light and the residents would have to come to the city to request another one.

After an initial motion, which died for lack of a second, the mayor opted to pencil in the second light pending the designation of a specific place for the light.

After an executive session to discuss personnel matters, Collins again addressed the subject of Lem Wilson Road, asking the council to &8220;tread lightly&8221; when considering running city services to the property.

According to Collins&8217; findings, several plats of land originally owned by the Wilson family had been sold off, which suggested the original acreage was being subdivided in much the same way developers do to land.

Collins said the property was annexed into the city in 1994, and a state mandate in 1995 required the county to maintain control of the water and sewer services.

He closed his remarks saying he did not want to spend large amounts of the city&8217;s money to fund what could be construed as a private development.

In other business, the council:

4Approved the appointment of Yancena Perry and Vince Deas to the Demopolis Historic Preservation Commission.

4Accepted the resignation of a member of the Utility Board and approved the nomination of Carl Austin for the board, nominated by Yelverton.

4Declined Resolution 2007-18: Retiree Act 2007-257, which would provide a one-time bonus to retired city employees, raising the city&8217;s payout from 11.3 percent to 11.8 percent for a nine-month period.

4Approved a resolution to install six 250-watt light fixtures in Edgemont Village.