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Engineering firm approved for city project

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The Demopolis City Council has entered into an agreement that moves forward a drainage project in the area known as the brickyard.

During a meeting on Monday, Dec. 5, the council voted unanimously to enter into a contract with Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood to serve as engineers for the project that aims at improving drainage between E. Capitol and E Fulton streets.

“This project will address drainage issues in this low-lying area to improve the quality of life for those who live there,” said Mayor John Laney.

The project is being funded through a Community Development Block Grant which will fund $450,000 of the costs. The city will pay a match on the grant of $45,000.

According to information provided by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, the agency overseeing the CDBG grant, the project will consist of clearing the existing channel, removal of numerous beaver dams, and lining the channel with rip rap in certain locations. In addition, the project will stabilize portions of the stream bank that are now degraded.

The project, which has been championed by District 1 Councilman Charles Jones, will allow Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood to move the project forward by publishing required public notices and sending out bids for contractors to do the work.

Other items discussed by the council included:

• The council discussed a neighborhood petition received from residents of Roman Alley regarding four vacant homes that indicated several homes needed to be cleaned up and stated safety concerns. Councilman Hardy said he and several other city officials visited those sites and that progress had already been made in terms of getting those lots cleaned up. The council also asked City Attorney Bill Poole to take a look at those properties as possible dilapidated housing concerns.

• a project to improve access to Roman Alley, which has been an ongoing project for the council. Councilman Nathan Hardy said engineers would be on the site Wednesday to evaluate and discuss the best options for the project.

• Councilman Charles Jones said an ongoing ditch project on Decatur Street would also be discussed in coming weeks. A previous plan to use shipping containers inside the ditch is not going to work and that he received prices of $13,000 and $15,900 for 150 feet of piping for the project. No action was taken as he plans to continue working and gathering information on the project.

• The council approved a public assembly application for Sav-A-Life to hold a 5K/10K run in Demopolis.

• The council approved the 2017 holiday calendar for city employees.

• The council approved an ABC application for a Christmas Eve cocktail party to be held at the Civic Center.

• Mayor Laney said he received a request from the owners of the Rosenbush Building downtown to install a sign on that structure. He said the owners were paying for the signage, but wanted to confirm that the city would be in favor.

• Several councilmembers added in discussion that they have been asked about the Civil War Monument that was damaged in a police-involved vehicle accident earlier this year. Councilman Harris Nelson said, “We need to put to rest what we are going to do.” The mayor and council agreed to discuss the monument at an upcoming meeting.

The next council meeting will be held Thursday, Dec. 15, 8 a.m., at Rooster Hall. The time is changed from the usual 5:15 p.m.