Sunset Road residents heard at council meeting

Published 12:35 am Saturday, February 7, 2009

Several residents of Sunset Road in the French Creek area of Demopolis voiced their frustration to the Demopolis City Council at its meeting on Thursday. The residents said they had heard the council say for four years that it would improve conditions in that area and have yet to see any results.

At the council meeting of Dec. 16, 2004, council member Thomas Moore — who serves on the current council — said the council had received a special appropriation through the Alabama Dept. of Transportation to pave some streets.

Each council member was asked to select four streets from his district for consideration for the paving project, to be prioritized at a special called meeting on Dec. 29 of that year.

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At the Dec. 29, 2004, meeting, Bob Evans of Almon and Associates told the council that the total to pave or improve all of the streets on that list would cost about $730,000, and that they were originally looking for $400,000 worth of projects.

No other action was taken at the meeting regarding street paving, and the council decided to work with the list it had.

Jump ahead to the Demopolis City Council meeting on Thursday, when the council began discussing the revised budget after each department had pared 15 percent from its ledger. Don Singleton, a Sunset Road resident, stood up.

“For four years, we have heard the same old song and dance,” he said. “We have had one load of gravel brought in (for the roads). So, before you pass any budget, I would appreciate you hearing what we have to say.”

District 2 representative Mitchell Congress said that he believed the city should live up to its obligation to the French Creek area after it was annexed by the city.

District 4 representative Bill Meador asked if the streets on the 2004 priority list were all paved, and if so, why Sunset Road was

“Sunset’s a gravel road,” Meador said. “It had to be at the top, it seems to me.”

A priority list was quoted from an issue of The Blackbelt Gazette by Congress. He said the article said that the list was given to the council by Park.

Cooley suggested contacting Almon and Associates and ask it to validate the priority list and find out who took Sunset Road off of that list.

Mike Baker, the director of the city’s public works department, said he would put a crown on the road to improve the drainage.