Railroad spur bid approved

Published 7:48 pm Friday, June 4, 2010

While much of the city was in attendance at Thursday evenings Taste of Home Cooking School, the Demopolis City Council spent nearly three hours hashing out a gargantuan agenda that ranged from the grant application approvals to a cemetery board appointment.

Among the council’s accomplishments on the evening were the appointment of Edith Scott to the cemetery board. She will fill the unexpired term of Willie Moore, joining Peggy Eddins and Kitty Eddins who were appointed to the board two weeks ago.

The council also approved the acceptance of a bid from the Louisiana-based Smith Railway Services. The company offered to do the Airport Industrial Park rail spur refurbishment for just over $325,400, nearly $56,000 less than the amount budgeted for the work.

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“We do not have a timeline, but I do anticipate the work going very quickly on that,” Demopolis Mayor Mike Grayson said. “It’s good, but then again, I’m sure with incidentals that will come up, there’ll be add-ons. But it will be great.” The project is part of a larger endeavor that will cost nearly $2 million.

In other business, the council voted to approve the listing of a 1997 Ford Taurus comfiscated by the police departmentas surplus property. The vehicle will be sold at auction in the future. Additionally, Chief Tommie Reese received approval to apply for a Justice Assistance Grant and a Cops Technology grant, each ofwhich would be used to update the computers at the DPD.

The council also discussed the under-construction Demopolis Municipal Complex, a structure on pace to be mostly done by June 10.

Among the items tabled was the suggestion to rename the street in front of the Theo Ratliff Activity Center. Under the proposal, the street would be named after Ratliff, the NBA star who is a former Demopolis High standout and continues to be a major benefactor for various community projects.

“We have assigned that out to a committee to contact everyone who owns property or lives on that road to get their input,” Grayson said. “For me, it is only fitting for somebody who has done so much for their home community.”

Council members voted to table the business of naming a new city clerk and appointing an individual to the vacant seat on the Demopolis City School Board.

“We’re diligently working toward that end,” Councilman Bill Meador said of the forthcoming school board appointment. “We want it to be done as quickly as possible, but we want it to be the right person.”

“Everybody on the council realizes that is such an important position for our community,” Grayson added.

The council voted to suspend the meeting until Wednesday, June 9, at which time it will meet with the t wo finalistsfor the city clerk position and discuss the BOE appointment. Grayson said he hopes for resolution for both matters by the end of that 10:30 a.m. session.