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Demopolis invests in street striping machine

The Demopolis City Council approved the purchase of a striping machine for $24,000, as well as paint for $6,000. All members of the council voted in favor of the purchase, and Councilman Nathan Hardy was absent.

The council also considered using Ozark Striping Company, which would charge approximately $750 per stripe per mile.

Councilman Harris Nelson was in favor of the purchase because the machine can be used year after year. “We’ve identified some areas that really need it, but there are spots all over the town beyond what we’ve already identified that can it be used for,” Nelson said.

Councilman Cleveland Cole was also in favor of getting the machine while conditions for striping are good, so the city can begin working on the projects. “It’s an issue. We’ve gotten a lot of complaints from citizens,” he said.

Public Works Superintendent Barbara Blevins said that the striping machine would require no extra personnel to operate, and the machine the council purchased is able to spray up to two lines at a time.

Mayor John Laney motioned that the money used to purchase it be taken from the capital budget, which was approved.

Other items discussed during the meeting including the following:

• City Building Official Julius Rembert reported to the council that the demolition project at 516 Wolfe Circle is complete. He also said that the projects at 411 N. Cherry Street and 500 N. Front Street are in the process of being completed. Rembert told the council that the property at 401 E. Pettus Street has asbestos, and he is currently working on what is the best way to move forward with that project. Rembert also reported at 35 letters have been mailed to property owners in order to enforce the city’s property maintenance code.

• authorizing Mayor Laney to distribute approximately $2,000 to the Demopolis Boxing Club should the Parks and Recreation Board decide to do so.

• appointing Claude Neilson to fill a vacancy on the Marengo County Economic Development Authority Board.

• approving contributing $5,325 contingent upon the county approving $7,179 to repair a pothole at the front of Newell Paper Co. at the industrial park.

• discussing whether the intersection at Washington St. and Main Ave. will remain a four-way stop or return to a traffic light. The council decided to wait a couple of weeks before making a decision to allow the public to make comments about their preference.

• approving performing routine maintenance on the railroad D track over the next two budget cycles.

• approving the ABC application for Beer on Premise at A Slab and More.

• approving Community in Action’s use of George Franks Ball Field on May 26 and June 2 for upcoming events.

• approving the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce’s use of George Franks Ball Field and Demopolis City Landing on July 3-4 for Freedom of the River.

• the mayor announced that the east side of Demopolis up to the county line is in an Opportunity Zone due to a tax law passed by Congress. The Opportunity Zones program is a tax incentive designed to increase economic development in distressed communities.

• During public comments, Harold Park asked the council the reasoning for past four-way stops on certain streets. Mayor Laney said that speeding was an issue, but those streets were not major streets in Demopolis. Park also discussed the need for more No Truck Route signage on Walnut St. and Highway 80. Director of Public Safety Tommie Reese said he would look into providing more signage.

• Also during public comments, J.D. Barnes expressed support for a four-way stop at the intersection of Washington St. and Main Ave.

The next council meeting will be held Thursday, May 17, at Rooster Hall.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, May 9 issue of the Demopolis Times. Additional details were published in the Saturday, May 12 issue.)