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Demopolis council applying for sidewalk grant

During a regular meeting, the Demopolis City Council passed a resolution to prepare an application for Civil Southeast in order to receive a grant from the state to build two new sidewalks in Demopolis, one by Westside Elementary School and one by U.S. Jones Elementary School. The projects are estimated to cost $931, 871, with Demopolis paying approximately $291,000 over the next three budget cycles.

The council is still able to choose not to move forward with the project at a later meeting, even if they do receive funding. The money can also be spread out over several fiscal years.

• The mayor announced that $500 from the mayor’s fund was donated to The Coming Together Organization’s Christmas Feeding Project and Give a Child a Wish Project.

• A motion was passed to move forward with the abatement of seven properties in Demopolis. The properties are: 103 Manson Drive, 407 E. Jefferson St., 1324 Highway 80 E., 403 E. Monroe St., 516 Wolf Circle, 411 N. Cherry St. and 401 E. Pettus St. The council also accepted the invoice from previous abatements.

• A motion was passed to approve a new personnel manual, which included a reduction in the number of holidays from 14 to 10 for government employees and to increase the base pay to reflect those changes. The holidays that are being removed are: Presidents Day, Confederate Memorial Day, Columbus Day and a birthday holiday for each employee. Government offices will be open on these days.

• A motion was passed to increase the garbage rate by $1.50. For residents, the rate will increase from $15.50 to $17. For businesses, the rate will increase from $18.50 to $20.

• A motion was passed to amend the current City of Demopolis Internal Control Manual.

• A motion was passed to allow city employees to opt out of health insurance, which is paid for by the city and costs $423 a month per employee, if they use their spouse’s insurance. If they do so, the employee will be given $200 a month and the city will save $223 a month.

• A motion was passed to adjust the budget in order to compensate police officers for overtime.

• Director of Public Safety Tommie Reese declared two drug-seized cars as surplus property.

• The council went into an executive session on the basis of good name of character.

• The council appointed four individuals to the Parks & Recreation board: Heidi Nettle, Art Evans, who was reappointed, Ronnie Abrams and John Laney IV, who is filling Colby Rowley’s unexpired term. Mayor Laney abstained on the vote for board appointments as his son, John Laney IV, was in consideration for an appointment.

The Demopolis City Council meets at 5:15 p.m. in Rooster Hall on the first and third Thursdays of the month.