Demopolis council reluctantly agrees to pay unfunded mandate

Expressing mild frustration at yet another unfunded mandate, the Demopolis City Council accepted an Alabama Department of Transportation request Thursday to conduct non-reimbursable environmental testing as part of certain bridge and construction projects in the city. If the city rejected the request, it would lose grant funding for various projects within the city, Mayor Mike Grayson told the council.

The testing will cost just over $14,900.

In other matters at Thursday’s brief meeting at Rooster Hall, the council tabled action on bids to repair leaks at the Cenac property at the Industrial Park. Council member Charles Jones Jr. recommended a temporary fix until the building has a tenant. “I can understand spending $18,000 on a building that has a tenant,” he said.

Mayor Mike Grayson informed the board of several upcoming appointments, including the hospital, library and parks and recreation boards.

City Attorney Bill Poole said he has received a “new batch of complaints” about various overgrown lots and dilapidated properties within the city. He told the council he is starting to work through those, as well as continuing to address dilapidated properties in which the city is already involved. Earlier in the meeting, the mayor suggested that the council review the dilapidated properties ordinance, among others, in an effort to provide stiffer enforcement.

A decision on  a $14.875 million grant application for city’s port project will be made in mid-September, the mayor reported. No match would be required of the city, if awarded.