Council rezones old Sonic property, names Walker to Parks and Rec Board

In a meeting filled with routine business, the Demopolis City Council Tuesday approved rezoning, named board members, voted for resolutions and heard updates on ongoing maintenance issues.

Cobey Rowley’s request to rezone the old Sonic property from B3 to BLI received a unanimous vote. Rowley plans to open a hardware and building material supply store at the location.

Major Walker was named to the Park and Recreation Board position, open because of the resignation of Will Moore. Some concern was expressed because Walker also serves on the Board of Adjustment. Previous councils set a precedent to allow a citizen to serve only on one board. Council members voted to suspend the rule and voted unanimously for Walker to serve.

Vacancies on the Hospital, Industrial Development and Historic Preservation boards will be considered at the first meeting in June.

Ronnie Byrd, appearing for an absentee property owner, presented a petition from 38 residents in the Brickyard neighborhood for a solution to the standing water problem in a ditch abutting the area.

Beavers have dammed up the ditch. Street Department director Mike Baker said he has sprayed the area to kill the overgrown vegetation and will begin on Monday to tear out the dams to get the water flowing again.

Mayor Mike Grayson said the city has tried for years to get a grant to enclose the ditch with a culvert system but has been unsuccessful.

Another petition signed by 32 residents along Roman Alley requested a speed bump to help slow traffic along the narrow, dead-end street. The council decided to study the situation further before taking any action.

Mohammad and Mahnaz Ezez received approval to transfer a liquor license to the new location of the New Orleans Bar and Grill at 708 Highway 80 East.

City attorney Bill Poole said six resolutions are being prepared now and will be submitted to the council this week for action on dilapidated housing. He said this is the first step toward demolition of the buildings and bulldozing of the properties.

The council gave approval to Sandy Dearman for a block party June 6 from 1300-1310 Phil Harper Drive. The annual event will be held from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

In his announcements Grayson said field work on the Herbert Street culvert should be completed Wednesday and the results submitted to the council next week.

Work on the Jackson Street bridge is “hung up” with the Alabama Department of Transportation, he said.

House Bill 601, approving seven-day liquor sales, has been sent to the state senate and is expected to receive approval by Thursday, Grayson continued.

He asked the council to thank Mary Jones-Fitts for the work she did to secure the traveling Smithsonian exhibit “The Way We Work,” coordinating the local exhibit to go with it and handling the tours for the hundreds who visited.