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Vote for four-way stop ends in tie

The Demopolis City Council’s vote for a four-way stop sign at the intersection of East Decatur Street and South Walnut Avenue resulted in a 2-2 tie on March 15. The request for the stop signs was made by resident David McCants, who, along with Harold Park, did not want the issue tabled until the next meeting. McCants said that Bell Grayson Road has the same problem.

“Why do we have to have a big panel discussion and a city council vote and a police vote … on a safety issue that needs to be taken care of today and not next month,” McCants said.

Mayor John Laney and Councilman Harris Nelson were absent from the meeting. Councilmen Bill Meador and Nathan Hardy voted against the stop sign. Since there was no majority vote, the motion did not pass.

Hardy said that he voted against the stop sign because he wanted to get the police department more involved in monitoring the street and issuing tickets before adding a stop sign.

“They’re going to run through that stop sign, because they’re running too fast. That’s where officers play a role,” he said.

Park asked why the council was so supportive of other four-way stop signs but not the one on East Decatur Street and South Walnut Avenue.

Councilman Charles Jones Jr. said that “all those came after due diligence and recommendation from the public safety director.”

Jones said that because the vote did not wait until the following meeting, Director of Public Safety Tommie Reese could not give his recommendation because he did not have data to support it.

Other items discussed during the meeting including the following:

• Jones announced that the meeting for the brickyard drainage project will be at city hall on March 22 at 10 a.m.

• Building Inspector Julius Rembert said that a citizen pulled a permit for the demolition project in the French Creek area. The city has also received bids from two contractors and the public works department for demolition. They will be presented at the next meeting. He also said that an auction for two recent demolition sites will be held on March 30 at 10 a.m. at Rooster Hall.

• Manager of Projects Mike Baker said that the project regarding a ditch on Decatur Street currently has some preliminary figures for cost, and they will be discussed at a later date. He also said that the Public Works Department is looking for a second opinion on how to clean it.

• Councilman Cleveland Cole said that the city needed to move forward with a pipe project on Estella Drive to avoid any future issues with the deteriorating pipe. The council passed the measure 3-0-1 with Hardy abstaining.

• Jones said that the city council members needed to each make a list of roads that needed to be striped so they can discuss whether it is best that the city hires a contractor or does it themselves.

• Civil Engineer Cedric Campbell said that the brickyard drainage project is in the process of being closed out.

• The council approved Demopolis Hickory Mill to apply for an expansion grant.

• The council discussed ways to prevent litter in Demopolis, including signage and upkeep of dumpsters. No action was taken.

Jones served as mayor pro tempore in Mayor Laney’s absence.

The next council meeting will be Thursday, April 5, at Rooster Hall.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, March 21 issue of the Demopolis Times.)