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Moratorium placed on tax incentives

A moratorium was placed on the current economic sales tax incentive during the Demopolis City Council meeting on Nov. 17 at Rooster Hall.
Mayor John Laney requested that the moratorium be placed on the incentive so a new committee on taxation and investment could look at the plan and provide one that will better suit the city’s needs.
Councilman Bill Meador voiced that he is fine with the moratorium if there’s a way to “more clearly distinguish” what the committee and council are trying to do and be more specific about the incentives.
Laney also removed himself along with Julius Rembert from the planning commission and replaced him and Rembert with Thomas Bell and Mike Baker, who will serve as the city administrator on the committee.
The mayor believes this measure will provide some separation between the commission and the council so that the two can work as independent entities.
During the meeting Laney said, “I feel if you load up the planning commission with too many city members then by the time that issue gets to the council, it has already been compromised.”
The council also re-appointed Lyn Foster, Hugh Overmyer and Cobey Rowley to the city’s parks and recreation board. All three had their previous term expire in October.
A special events application from the Demopolis Chamber of Commerce to Alabama Beverage Control was approved and will allow alcohol to be sold during the 2016 Christmas on the River Barbecue Cook-Off. Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce Director Ashley Coplin said not much had changed on the application, but it is still a tough process.
The council approved a budget adjustment that added $120,000 to the general government portion of the budget including $107,000, which the city is required to provide to match a highway improvement grant. The city also added $25,000 to the budget of city hall to meet the federal recommendations for overtime.