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City councilman asks for traffic study

A Demopolis City Councilman has requested the city initiate contact with state officials regarding safety concerns on Hwy. 80.

District 5 Councilman Cleveland Cole said the city should request that the Alabama Department of Transportation conduct a study for the area of a Walmart entrance and a new Dollar Tree that is on the opposite side of Highway 80.

“With the Dollar Tree and possibly apartments, we need to request ALDOT do a study before someone gets hurt,” Cole said.

Demopolis Police Chief Rex Flowers said the mayor would need to provide a letter to ALDOT requesting the study.

During its meeting on Feb. 6, the council approved moving forward with the annexation of property at the Airport Industrial Park. The property to be annexed does not include the area of Two Rivers Lumber. According to City Attorney Scott Stapp, the property to be annexed includes the airport and land adjacent to it.

With passage, the annexation will be advertised for four weeks before going to the state legislature for approval.

The council also discussed the following items.

• Approving the appointment of Seth Allgood to fill an unexpired term on the Park and Recreation Board. Two nominees are named for a full term: current member Gary Malone as well as Cole Basinger.  The vote on filling that seat was tabled due to the absence of councilmembers Charles Jones and Nathan Hardy.

• The council deferred a discussion on salaries for the mayor and council. The deadline for any changes is Feb. 24.

• Mayor John Laney announced that resident Becky Jordan has provided funding to provide a swimming safety program at the Theo Ratliff Center this summer. Laney said the program is being established as a response to two teenagers who drowned after falling into the Tombigbee River at the City Landing in the fall.

• Laney congratulated Fire Chief Keith Murray and all firefighters for being recognized with the Golden Ax Award for their recent efforts that raised $9,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation.

• Laney read a letter from the Florida 4th District State Attorney thanking the police department for their assistance in searching for missing Taylor Williams whose remains were discovered in Marengo County in December.

• Building Inspector Julius Rembert provided an update on current dilapidated properties projects.

• Approved a retirement buy-back for city employee Karl Hale who has completed a military deployment. The city is obligated to pay the retirement amount.

Items discussed during the public comments portion of the meeting included:

• David McCants asked for an update on Roman Alley, asking why it was taking so long as it has been on the council’s agenda for over four years.

Laney said the project is moving forward now as the city is putting in a pipe and, upon completion, the county will put in a road allowing for access to McNamara Road. “We are waiting for the weather to dry up so that we can put in the pipe and turn it over to the county,” Laney said.

• A resident on S. Ash Street said he continues to have troubles with a ditch in that area, including a stench of raw sewage. “It is getting worse instead of better. Nothing has been done,” he said. 

• Dana McCants asked the city to look into providing water and sewer to a Hwy. 43 cemetery, stating that many people visit that cemetery when coming to Demopolis.

• Harold Park asked the council if there are any updates to a truck count he requested regarding trucks traveling on Walnut Street, instead of taking the truck route.

“The truck issue continues on. I’ve been asking about it for months and there are still no additional postings,” Park said.

The next council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 20, 5:15 p.m., at Rooster Hall.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, February 12 issue of the Demopolis Times.)