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Resident voices concern over civic center fees

The Demopolis City Council heard from another resident during a meeting Thursday, August 15, who voiced concerns about a possible increase in rental fees for the Demopolis Civic Center.

Currently, the council has opted to hold on a fee increase until certain upgrades are completed. However, the council has approved a $250 returnable deposit.

During the meeting Thursday, the council discussed changing the hours renters must be completed from 2 a.m. to midnight. The purpose of the change is to give workers more time to clean up, especially for when the facility is rented for the following day. The discussion was tabled.

LaTonya Williams voiced her concerns regarding the council’s previous discussion to raise rental fees.

“Nine hundred dollars is very steep, even after any improvements,” Williams said. “The city should keep the fees affordable for the citizens who live here and support the city every day.”

Mayor John Laney said the city could look at a fee for residents and another for those outside the city, but no action was taken.

Building Inspector Julius Rembert provided a reported on ongoing dilapidated properties, providing updates on several properties currently in that process.

“There’s still work to do, but feel we are winning the war on property maintenance,” Rembert said.

Other items discussed at the council meeting included the following.

• Police Chief Rex Flowers introduced two new officers to the force: Lance Rowell and Chase Courtney.

• The council approved placing a 5 mile per hour speed limit sign on Industrial Park Road. The sign was requested to slow drivers down, especially at a portion where the road turns to gravel.

• Approved two public assembly applications: Demopolis Homecoming Parade for Sept. 12 and the Annual Community Breast Cancer Walk on Oct. 19.

• Introduced Kathy Owens as the new librarian at the Demopolis Public Library.

• The council agreed to meet two hours prior to the next council meeting to discuss the city budget. The council and department heads will meet at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5. The regular meeting will begin at 5:15 p.m.

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