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Demopolis council asked to host two-day boat race in June

The Demopolis City Council was asked to host a two-day boat race in the city for $12,000 during Thursday’s meeting. The council asked that a revenue estimate be presented at the next meeting be-fore any voting takes place.

Paul Sager, a resident interested in the return of boat races to Demopolis, asked the council to sponsor the boat race during the first weekend in June. He presented both a one-day race for $7,500 and a two-day race for $12,000, but asked for the funds for the two-day race to maximize revenue for the city.

Fees, insurance and a rescue team will be included in the cost, though the city will be required to provide an ambulance and an off-duty police officer. Sager also requested that a fire truck be on-site. The $12,000 will go towards prize money, and Sager and others will fundraise to cover any additional costs. He also plans to use revenue from the first year to pay for future races.

“I know it’s a big expense the first year, but I want to do something different. I want to set an ac-count for this to help pay for itself every year down the road, and this could lead into some big events. The course is just right,” Sager said.

The race will consist of a no less than 35 and as many as 70 participants and will be part of the Outboard Drag Boat Association. The admissions fee for spectators will be $10. Participants will pay their fees to ODBA.

He also explained that many participants like to come early to practice the course and usually stay an extra day or two, adding to the possible revenue for the city. Sager said he will look at revenue produced by the city’s past boat races that took place 12-13 years ago to bring an estimate to the next city council meeting.

Other items discussed by the council include:

• Fire Chief Keith Murray presented Lt. Justin King as the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3577 Firefighter of the Year.

• Building Inspector Julius Rembert updated the council on dilapidated properties, as well as the new Code Enforcement page on the city’s website. The webpage contains information related to code violations, including a self-check list and a phone number to report common violations.

• Councilman Bill Meador informed the council that he has gotten information about the golf cart ordinance from officials in Baldwin County, and he hopes to present something at the next meeting, with voting taking place at the meeting after.

• tabling the Cemetery Board appointment until the next meeting.

• During public comments, Richard Fountain with his wife Ollia and neighbor Annette Black asked that the city repair a ditch by their houses on S. Ash Ave. spanning from Decatur to Jefferson Street. R. Fountain said the ditch has been there for 28 years and has been brought to the city’s at-tention multiple times before, but it still has not been repaired.

Mayor Pro Tem Charles Jones suggested placing culverts in the ditch and said that he and Public Works Superintendent Barbara Blevins will assess the ditch the following day.

The Demopolis City Council meets every first and third Thursday at Rooster Hall at 5:15 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, March 27 issue of the Demopolis Times.)