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Grayson talks about city projects at town hall meeting

At Thursday’s town hall meeting at the Demopolis Civic Center, mayor Mike Grayson gave those on hand an updated about city finances and projects that the Demopolis City Council is working on.

Also on hand for the town hall meeting were council members Thomas Moore, Mitchell Congress, Bill Meador and Jack Cooley, several directors of city departments, executive director of the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce Jennifer Tate, city clerk Paula Bird, city attorney Richard S. Manley and city judge Woody Dinning Jr.

Grayson told the attendees that the city’s revenue income was ahead of where it was last year, and the city has spent less than it did at this time last year.

“That means, as we take a snapshot right this moment, that the City of Demopolis is doing reasonably well, and that’s important to know,” he said. “As far as the lifeblood of the city revenue stream, that would be sales tax. We just got the March sales tax numbers in. We are actually 13.94 percent over on our collections for March 2010, over March 2009. Over the prior month, which was February, we are up 28 percent. Now, February 2009 was the lowest in the five-year rolling period.”

In the year to date, the city was ahead 3.34 percent over Fiscal Year 2010 at this time.

Grayson announced that on Thursday, the city settled with Cincinnati Insurance concerning the Jan. 29 accident in which a truck crashed into the municipal complex, which is undergoing renovations.

Grayson also spoke about ongoing commercial projects for Demopolis.

“We are working on a four-plex movie theater,” he said. “There is a chain restaurant that has shown sometimes interest and sometimes not so strong interest in Demopolis. We are currently working on the Port of Demopolis and a mega-industrial site.

“We have a convention center and (agricultural) arena that we are working on plans for. We’ve got the Old School Cultural Center that we have plans on. We are working on the Marengo County Museum, and hopefully, we’ll have something to talk about by the end of the year.”

Grayson praised the city council for the city’s achievements.

“These folks have communicated with each other openly,” he said. “There are no known agendas out there, and we have good discussion, and I think that is important in a democratic society so that all parts of the issue can be looked at.”