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Engineering firm to report Roman Alley options

The Demopolis City Council continued its discussion on traffic problems associated with Roman Alley during a regular meeting held Thursday.
According to Councilman Nathan Hardy, conversations have been held with Civil Southeast, LLC, an engineering firm, on possible options for the road. Currently, the road is too narrow for emergency vehicles or to allow for vehicles to pass one another.
The council had received some options already regarding the project, but voted on Thursday to enter into an agreement with Civil Southeast to continue working on the project and present its findings to the council. The agreement called for the city to pay $2,000 for work already performed.
The options that the council specifically mentioned during the meeting was possibly widening the street or connecting the road to either Pettus or McNamara streets.
Widening the street may not be possible due to homes already being placed close to the road. Some of those who live on Roman Alley have to park their vehicles along the road as well.
The city entered into the contract with the understanding Civil Southeast will work alongside the police, fire and public works department in formulating a workable plan.
Other items discussed by the council included:
• Following a public hearing
with no one speaking in favor or against, the council approved the rezoning of property at 3018 Hwy. 80 East from commercial business (B3) to business light industry (BLI). The rezoning was previously approved by the city’s planning commission.
• a report on dilapidated housing by City Attorney Bill Poole. He said he is reviewing and preparing a list of properties that he plans to have ready by the end of the year that will be turned over to new city attorneys, once determined. Poole has announced he will resign as the city attorney at the end of the year.
• Councilman Charles Jones reported on a ditch project on Decatur Street, saying those working on the project could install 16-gauge galvanized steel piping at a cost of $9,209. With that price being within a previously approved cost, there was no action taken.
• approving the October financial statement.
• Betty Reese, a resident of Roman Alley, spoke to the council regarding a petition that had been submitted about certain properties being overgrown. She said some work had been done, but recent rain has been a halt to the work. Reese said the properties are leading to snakes and other issues that are a concern due to the number of children who live in the area.
• The council approved a permit request from Lisa Compton for April’s Rooster Day event. Compton said this year’s Rooster Day will include much of the same activities as last year’s inaugural Rooster Day, but have discussed changes to the Rooster Day 5K route with the police chief.
• The council approved a measure to allow the fire department to donate eight Self-Contained Breathing Apparatuses to the Springhill Volunteer Fire Department. The Demopolis Fire Department has received new SCBAs through a grant. About five additional apparatuses will be given back to the vendor for recycling.
• The council also agreed to allow for sales tax exemptions for specific items during times of severe weather events. This action will remain in effect until a time that the state no longer allows it.
• Mayor John Laney said he plans to publish a public notice regarding 17 vacant city board seats with the goal of finding those interested in serving.
The mayor also reported he has received feedback from law firms regarding the soon-to-be open city attorney post.
The next city council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 5, 5:15 p.m., at Rooster Hall. The public is invited to attend these meetings.