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Demopolis council discusses capital projects budget

In preparing for the upcoming budget year, the Demopolis City Council’s finance committee offered a preliminary capital projects funding list for each department.

According to Councilman Bill Meador, the amounts for capital projects were submitted to the finance committee by city department heads, which were then prioritized based on need and available funding. He said the current list represents about $187,000 for the FY 2018-19 budget.

Among the projects on that list is runway striping at the Demopolis Airport, security cameras for city hall, insulation installed at the horticulture departure, among others. The list also includes the possible purchase of vehicles for the fire department, police department and the park and recreation.

Meador said the city has already allocated almost $1 million that will be needed for matching certain grants.

The council took no action on the matter, postponing the matter to the next meeting.

During the public comments portion of the meeting, the council was asked if the capital funding would include money for paving city streets. Mayor John Laney said those projects would be covered under the city’s gas tax portion of the budget and added the city is working on Community Development Block Grants to help with funding. Another resident questioned the purchase of a vehicle for the Ratliff Center.

In other matters, the council also approved for demolition a home at 401 E. Pettus Street. According to Building Inspector Julius Rembert, the demolition will include another training opportunity for city employees in the form of asbestos removal.

Rembert also reported that properties on South Commissioners, E. Washington and Floyd Avenue were coming up for bid in the demolition process.

The council approved the following agenda items:

• Approving to make the intersection of Washington Street and Main Avenue a permanent four-way stop. There was a traffic light at the intersection, but became a four-way when the light malfunctioned.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to said they prefer it as a four-way stop,” said Councilman Meador.

• Approving a budget adjustment requested by the Demopolis Police Department for overtime paid.

• Approving a public assembly application for the Hwy. 80 Songwriter’s Festival to be held July 8, 6 to 9 p.m., in downtown Demopolis. The council also approved the downtown square as an entertainment district, allowing for visitors to consume alcoholic beverages during the event.

• Approving a measure correcting the minutes from the May 5 meeting involving supplements to be paid for doctors. The correction involved changing the amount to be paid in 2018-19 from $60,000 to $30,000.

• Approving upon the request of Pastor James Wood the use of George Franks Field on July 14 for a Christian Youth Festival.

The next council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 5:15 p.m., at Rooster Hall. The public is invited to attend.