City to litigate over station design

Published 2:16 am Saturday, May 30, 2009

Four months ago, the Demopolis City Council asked city attorney Richard S. Manley to contact architectural firm Brown Design Group and contractor Lane Eaves to work out an arrangement to pay the $32,500 cost to repair the parking lot to Fire Station No. 3 on U.S. Highway 80 East.

After the building opened last July, it was discovered that the parking lot sloped, causing a build-up of water after a rainstorm. In December, the council approved Almon and Associates to do a survey to determine the cost to fix the parking lot, and the architectural firm determined that it would cost $32,500, which includes the $2,500 fee for Almon and Associates.

In January, the council requested that Manley contact the two firms regarding the cost of repairing the parking lot. At Tuesday’s council meeting, it was reported that Eaves responded that it would pay $5,000, while Brown Design Group did not respond.

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Eaves claimed the Brown Design Group’s plan was flawed, while Brown Design Group claimed that Eaves did work that was not called for in the plans. After four months of waiting, the city is sending word to both firms that it intends to file suit against them.

“We’re tired of paying top dollar for getting a less-than-perfect product,” said Demopolis mayor Mike Grayson.

The council also approved Demopolis police chief Tommie Reese’s plan for speed limits throughout residential areas of the city.

Reese recommended that the plan be worked in phases, beginning with seven streets now and other streets at a later date.

Those streets to begin the traffic study and their speed limits will be Janet (25 mph), Herbert (25 mph), Old Spring Hill (25 mph), Walnut (25 mph), Ash (20 mph), Hilltop (15 mph) and Rainbow (15 mph).

“We all are busy, and we’ve got things to do, but we’re going to have to abide by the speed limits,” said Grayson. “We will post it, to let everybody know. We will also patrol it and write tickets and citations. Our next step is to post four-way or three-way stop signs where it might be appropriate, and if that doesn’t work, then we can go to speed bumps.”

Richard LeCroy of LeCroy, Hunter and Co. presented the council with the audit for Fiscal Year 2007-08. The audit contained a number of recommendations that he considered to be minor, although he also noted “questionable reimbursements” made during that year that he recommended the council go into executive session to discuss.

Other than that, LeCroy told the council that the city was “head and shoulders above other cities” in its accounting practices, telling them that his recommendations are “easily fixable.”