City council tables BOE appointment; Shelton State to leave New Era building

Demopolis City Councilmen postponed the election of a new School Board member until next week to give each one a chance to talk with all seven candidates.

At the last council meeting, six people were nominated for the post being vacated by Ronnie O’Neal, whose last day officially is April 30. Mayor Mike Grayson added to the list by nominating Olen Kerby.

Rather than have a meeting at which each candidate would be interviewed, the council opted to make individual contact with the seven before voting at a called meeting Monday, April 27, at 5:15 p.m.

Besides Kerby, nominees are Gary Brown, Hunter Compton, Lucy Chu, Lee Pritchett, Chuck Smith and Chris Stewart.

Diane Brooker, chairman of the Industrial Development Board, asked city help in paving and repaving some 600 feet of road in the South industrial Park.

Shelton State Community College, which conducts truck driver training in Demopolis, is being required to find a new site for its school because of changes in federal regulations. The IDB unanimously voted to deed six acres to the school, but roads to the property need to be improved.

The city stopped all funding to the IDB board some 5-6 years ago, said Brooker, “with the understanding that in which time we needed some assistance from you we would come to you and ask for that assistance.”

Brooker said preliminary estimates for the 600 feet of new road to be paved on an established road bed is $75,000, but she came to the meeting with a wish list which included resurfacing some 2,000 feet of existing road and constructing a new 800-foot road.

She said if Shelton State ever evacuates the property it would revert back to the IDB.

The council voted to request bids for the needed 600 feet of road and options for the other paving requests.

After a lengthy discussion, the council voted unanimously to amend a zoning ordinance allowing electronic billboards erected in the city, subject to approval by the Planning Commission.

The originally proposed ordinance was amended to make sure that each request will be treated independently and be required to receive commission approval.

A request to change the truck route for better access to Larry Walters Furniture was tabled until the May 5 meeting.

David Cleveland and Mike Walters said delivery trucks going to the store now have torn up the street, broken curbs and knocked over water meters as they are maneuvered into place for unloading.

Walters said the truck route was put into place some four years ago to keep the trucks from traveling south on Walnut, east on Windsor and then north on Mason Ridge.

Councilmen decided to postpone any action until the residents along the route are contacted.

In other action, the council:

  • Voted to make the intersection of Strawberry and Washington streets a four-way stop and remove the traffic light.
  • Upheld the penalty levied against Monica Keely for late payment of a business license.
  • Approved a liquor license to Joyce Rowser Hall for Papa Gino’s, 811 E Pettus St.