City Landing funding increased, Demopolis City Council remembers Charles Jones Sr.

Published 2:18 pm Wednesday, February 9, 2022

The February 3 Demopolis City Council meeting began with Mayor Woody Collins remembering former City Councilman Charles Jones Sr., who passed away on January 28. Collins said Demopolis “has lost an icon and a cornerstone of the community.”

Collins served on the Council with Jones for four years and had worked with him many times outside of the local government.

“Through the years that we worked together, every time we ever disagreed on an issue, by the end of the day we’d give a little and take a little on both sides,” said Collins. “By the time everything was over, we did what we thought was best for this community. This is the art of compromise which is lost in state and federal politics today.”

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Collins said he cherished the time he was able to do that with Jones.

“I want every person in this community to know that you’re living in a better community because of Charles Jones Sr.,” said Collins. “I feel honored to have gotten to know him.”

The main topic of discussion at the meeting was the ongoing City Landing project. Mayor Woody Collins described it as “a phenomenal project,” but also said that there have been several issues with the project that have delayed construction.

When the project first began, it was estimated that it would cost $1.2 million and that the city would be responsible for providing $200,000. After the project was bid, there were soft spots found in the parking lot. After a number of opportunities and issues came up, the price of the project is now $2.9 million.

Collins said the city has worked with the Department of National Resources, and they have asked the city to come up with an additional $1 million. There was also an offer to shut the project down, to which the city declined.

To help fund the project, Collins said the city has entered into a joint venture with seven government entities. Those entities include the Corps of Engineers, the Alabama Department of National Resources, the City of Demopolis, Demopolis Park and Rec Board, the Marengo County Commission, Marengo County Park and Rec Board, and the Marengo County Economic Development Authority.

“That sounds impossible, to get seven government groups on the same page working for a common cause,” said Collins. “I cannot tell you how proud I am of these groups and the way this has worked. We have been as fortunate as any group could be because of the people who have involved themselves in this.”

The Council went on to approve the revisions to the funding for the City Landing project. The target opening date remains around late March or early April.

Other items approved by the Council:

  • Council passed a Food Truck Ordinance that will allow mobile vans to sell food within the city. Any trucks must pass the Health Department inspection and pay required fees for business licenses
  • Council took no action on the issue of unsafe apartment complexes to allow the City more time to research a solution.
  • Council approved request from Demopolis Police Chief Rex Flowers to allow police officers to purchase weapons that are being replaced. Officers will be able to purchase former weapons for $300 each.

The Demopolis City Council meets on the first and third Thursday of each month at 5:15 p.m.