Demopolis City Council awaits banner recommendation from planning commission

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 15, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; The city council made no move toward lifting a controversial business banner ban, but that was largely because they had no move to make.

The city planning commission has taken up discussions of the banner ordinance, and is working toward recommending a new ordinance in 60 to 75 days, said council member Charles Jones.

But Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce president Kelley Smith said business owners were largely happy with the commission&8217;s work so far.

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While some may be disappointed that a new ordinance has yet to be presented to the council, Jack Cooley said the city was closer than ever to permitting limited banner use.

The planning commission met twice this week and has begun to hammer out language on a new ordinance that would allow businesses to use banner advertising, by permit, four times a year for up to 60 days.

The council also heard from former city councilman Mitchell Congress, who said that a lack of audible storm sirens on the north side of town could pose a danger to residents if a major storm hits.

Mitchell specifically asked for another storm siren to be placed north of Highway 80.

Council members informed Congress that they were in agreement, but that a concensus had not been reached on the direction the city should take.

Congress also proposed a city storm shelter, where residents could gather in case of a severe storm.

The council tabled discussion of a resolution sent by the state that would absolve the state of Alabama of any indemnity as the state repairs the west-bound bridge on French Creek.

The state requires the resolution be signed before it begins work on the bridge, but that project is &8220;at least two years away and dependent on funding,&8221; Demopolis Mayor Cecil P. Williamson said.