City council votes to close alley

These are the Officers that assisted Selma Police Department and other law enforcement agencies with the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday.  Chief Reese said he and serveral DPD Officers were a part of the security detail for the event which needed a large presence of law enforcement because of the number of people and because of the visit of the President.

These are the Officers that assisted Selma Police Department and other law
enforcement agencies with the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday. Chief
Reese said he and serveral DPD Officers were a part of the security detail
for the event which needed a large presence of law enforcement because of the number of people and because of the visit of the President.

By a unanimous vote the Demopolis City Council vacated the alley stretching between Perry and Jackson Streets parallel to Main Avenue and Commissioners.

Donald Eddins presented signatures from all his fellow property owners requesting the city vacate the alley. Closing it will eliminate unwanted vehicle and foot traffic, he said. Plans are to put gates at each end of the alley now that it is private property,

No action was taken on a request by Fire Chief Tommy Tate to purchase a cloud-based system for the Fire and Rescue Department. The software would enable all stations to use the same system to report incidents, investigations, inspections and training, among other information.

Tate said he needed an additional $2,500 to pay for the system on a five-year contract. He has $400 remaining in his technology budget to help pay for it.

Mayor Mike Grayson directed Tate to search his budget to see where he could find the additional funding he needed.

Ruthie Williams continued her plea to have the city do something to end the ditch problem at her home on 820 E. Decatur. Standing water breeds mosquitoes, and snakes find homes in the ditch, which keeps getting bigger, she said.

Councilman Charles Jones Jr. said the ditch is too wide for a culvert, and the problem continues further down from Williams’ home.

“We’re talking about a health issue,” said Grayson. He told Williams the city cannot afford the work to repair the ditch and that it would have to apply for a Delta Regional Authority Grant under the auspices of health to get the funding.

At the mayor’s request to keep after him, Williams promised to return to the April 2 meeting.

The city received good news from Bob Young of Frasier Lanier Investment Bankers who reported a refund of an outstanding bond issue that saved $221,000, some $70,000 more than the city expected.

Young said Demopolis also has maintained a Standard and Poor rating of AA-, which is an exceptionally good rating for a community of its size.

The council suspended its rules in order to vote twice on the issue instead of waiting for a second vote at the next meeting.

City Attorney Bill Poole said he is working on 20 dilapidated properties. Other additions and overgrown lots are expected to be added to the list, which he will present at the next meeting.

Budget adjustments were approved for police security at Sonic and for the officer posted at Demopolis Middle School.

Grayson reported revenue for February was $1.12 million, thanks in large part to property taxes coming due, and expenses were $639,000. January sales tax revenues were up 22.47 percent over January of 2014, and the total tax revenue is 9.7 percent over FY 2014.

The mayor read a letter from Selma Chief Michael Stokes thanking the city for lending support for the successful celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rates Act of 1965. Grayson said Demopolis sent five firefighters and seven police officers to help with the events.

Grayson told the council that he has appointed Kaye Evans to the Beautification Committee.

He announced that U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell will hold a Town Hall meeting Tuesday, April 7, at the Theo Ratliff Center. That same day, at 5 p.m., the Alabama-Tombigbee Regional Commission will hold its semi-annual meeting at the Demopolis Civic Center

He reported that Board of Education member Ronnie O’Neal has requested that he not be reappointed to the school board when his term expires in April.