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Residents voice ditch, construction concerns at council meeting

Demopolis residents voiced concerns to the city council about problems in their neighborhoods during a Thursday meeting.
Renee Worlds said a portion along Jackson Street posed a dangerous situation for children. At the location, she said there is too little room from the edge of the road to a drop-off into a deep drainage ditch. There are no sidewalks along that stretch of Jackson.
“I would hate to see a child fall in there,” Worlds said.
After sharing pictures of the site, the council agreed to authorize Mayor Mike Grayson and Public Works Superintendent Mike Baker to seek quotes to widen the shoulder of that road and put up a rail.
Worlds also spoke about trees growing in ditches and blocking light behind her property on Blacks Drive.
“I don’t feel safe,” she said.
Councilman Charles Jones said the city must have permission from the property owner to do on their properties to do any work. City Attorney Bill Poole and Jones agreed to make contact with the property owners in that area.
Worlds also said a ditch on Decatur Street is a problem.
In another matter, Jewel Essex came before the council to discuss a new construction project in her neighborhood. The project is being done by Councilman Jones.
Essex said she, and others in her neighborhood, were concerned when they woke up to find metal storage containers on a lot and asked why she was not informed about the project.
According to Jones, the metal storage containers will be used as the frame of the house.
“We got started on the project, had to stop, and now we will start again,” Jones said. “I spoken to the adjacent property owners and shared with them what the home will look like.
Other items discussed by the council included:
• certified election results for the unopposed seats on the city council. Those include District 1, Charles Jones Jr.; District 2, Nathan Hardy; District 4, Bill Meador; and District 5, Cleveland Cole.
• Demopolis Fire Chief Vernon Waters reported to the council that his department has been approved for an Assistance to Firefighters Grant for the purchase of a fire truck. The grant will be for $309,000 and the city will have to match the funds with $125,000.
The council moved the expenditure to be discussed by the finance committee, but agreed to move forward with paying the grant writer’s fee of $14,700.
If approved by the council, Waters said the truck would take about 10-12 months to build and that it could be delivered to the city by June 2017.
• a discussion on mosquito spraying was continued after arising at the last meeting. A few homeowners in the city are concerned that the spray will kill their beehives.
While the council appeared in agreement that mosquito spraying had to continue, Baker said he would speak with the two homeowners who have beehives and spray those neighborhoods later in the day when the bees are likely dormant.
• approving to rezone a property at 1104 Floyd Avenue from B3 to BLI (business-light industry) to allow a business being relocated there to store lumber.
• sending a request for a business license for a hookah bar and adult novelty store to the planning commission for its recommendation. City Clerk Sam Gross said that type of business is not in the city’s zoning ordinance for permitting.
The next city council meeting will be held Thursday, August 4, 5:15 p.m., at Rooster Hall.