Demopolis council discusses dilapidated properties, speed bumps

Dilapidated properties, a request for speed bumps and a 40-minute executive session consumed most of Thursday evening’s Demopolis City Council meeting.

City attorney Bill Poole reported to the council that he has filed a lien on the property at 1814 A Street to recover $7,300 the city spent demolishing a dilapidated structure there.

He also said the owner of the property at 1801 Second Avenue has offered to  pay the city $500 month until that lien is paid.

Poole said “a number of issues” is hampering the city’s ability to clear the former Newton Tire property on U.S. 80, which was destroyed by fire. Among the problems, Poole said, are determining the value, if any, of the scrap steel from the building, along with three mortgages and tax liens against the property.

Poole said the property was recently purchased at public auction, adding, “I’ve heard the new owner wants the city to clean it up for him. That’s what everybody wants, but we want to be able to recover some money if we do.”

The cost to demolish the property is estimated at $10,000.

The attorney said he hopes to have a recommendation for demolition of the property 609 W. Pettus at the next meeting.

Thelloretta Smith appeared before the council, asking that the dilapidated property at 515 S. Front, which is near her home, be cleaned up and that speed bumps be placed on the street.

Building Inspector Clarence Brooker said the property is on a list that was turned over to the city’s enforcement officer. Police Chief Tommie Reese said he will follow up with the enforcement officer to determine the status of that property.

Regarding speed bumps, the council asked Public Works Director Mike Baker to determine the exact cost for two speed bumps on S. Front and three on First Avenue, and report back at the next meeting.

In other matters, the council approved an additional $6,290 to the street paving project, for striping, and heard the Mayor Mike Grayson report that the project is on schedule and should be finished within the next two weeks.

The council also approved the mayor’s request to attend two upcoming conferences.

The council concluded the meeting with an executive session requested by Marengo County Economic Development Authority Director Brenda Tuck, to discuss “a financial and economic development matter”, but the council took no action after returning to open session.