Demopolis businessmen voice industrial park concerns to council

Demopolis businessman Jerry Gaddy appeared before the city council Thursday evening, expressing concerns over break-ins, vandalism and non-business related foot traffic in the South Industrial Park.

Gaddy, whose business is located in the industrial park, commended the Demopolis police and fire departments for their good work, but asked for increased patrolling of the area. Mayor Mike Grayson said he has already talked to Police Chief Tommie Reese, and said the chief “got to the bottom” of the most recent incident involving a break-in.

Representatives from Foster Farms and  Eaves Construction joined Gaddy in expressing concern about the residential area immediately to the south of the park. Questions arose over whether the residential property is a motel or an apartment complex, and whether long-term occupants are allowed under current zoning.

The mayor said additional research is needed, adding that the property owner has indicated he wants a good working relationship with the industries in the area.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, the council voted to re-bid the Rosenbush Warehouse Building with less restrictions. The city received no bids on the building.

“My greatest fear is that we wake up one morning and have a pile of bricks over there,” said Mayor Mike Grayson. “That may be a good thing – the bricks may be worth something.”

Brian Brooker suggested using the warehouse for Christmas on the River warehouse space, but Grayson said not he is not sure COTR is interested in paying rent for the space, adding that he feels the city needs to free itself of responsibility for the property.

In other action, the council:

  • Accepted Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood’s bid of $16,500 for repairs on a collapsing culvert on Herbert Street.
  • Passed a motion of support for the Demopolis Historical Preservation Commission’s efforts to divide the city into historical districts, which would aid in historic preservation. Commission representative Keith Yeager reminded the council that Demopolis has numerous properties of historical significance.
  • Approved a bid from the previous council meeting for new traffic signals at the five-way intersection of Pettus, Front and Arcola Road.
  • Approved the Mayor’s request to attend the Alabama League of Municipalities Legislative Advocacy meeting in Montgomery April 7.
  • Approved Reese’s request to apply for a police officer body camera grant. No match would be required of the city.
  • Accepted the low bid of $15,590 from Rice Heating and Cooling for HVAC work at the Rosenbush Building.