CARBON HILL – The Carbon Hill City Council agreed on Monday, July 13, to approve a resolution to take bids for the Old City Barn and to advertise for sealed bids, with the property open to be viewed on Saturday, July 18, and Saturday, July 25.
Mayor April Herron said sealed bids will be opened and the highest bidder will be announced at the July 28.
“That is for the City Barn as it is, with what is in it, but it doesn’t include the property. It is only the metal, the wood and the equipment inside,” she said. “They will have to move it all off and leave the property behind.”
In other action, the council:
• Held a 23-minute executive session to discuss the good name and character of a person.
• Heard Police Chief Eric House say two police vehicles being sold by the city still run. A gray Charger does not have a cage, meaning it can’t be used for standard use, and also needs work to it – probably costing a total of $2,000. A Crown Victoria would need $2,600 of work and is “worn out,” he said.
• Heard from Fire Chief Buddy Smith the Fire Department’s new radio antenna was installed the day before.
• Heard Smith call for several safety issues – involving trees that were damaged by storms – to be addressed, which Herron said she agreed with. She called on looking at trees that need to be taken down and do work, maybe a couple at a time as crews can. The council agreed to take bids for work on removing the trees.
• Heard from Street Superintendent Alan May that the department was shorthanded due to illness and repairmen cannot find out what is wrong with the brush truck. He hoped repairs on the back hoe would be done within a couple of days. Herron asked May to make repairs of the brush truck a top priority, as it was needed to clean up debris in the city. City officials thanked Walker County crews for helping with clean up efforts recently.
• Appointed Mitch Mays to the city’s water board. Jimbo Bray also applied to be appointed.
• Appointed Rebecca Tucker to serve as a dispatcher.
• Agreed to continue to take applications for a full-time worker and a part-time employee for the Street Department through July 24.
• Voted to approve a plan for new traffic and street signs. Heard Herron said District 2 Walker County Commissioner Jeff Burrough can get street signs and stop signs. “Some of (the current signs) are completely solid white,” she said. “Some have graphic graffiti on them.” He said he could get them for the city for $3,500, Herron said, which includes the poles. Funds will come from the General Fund.
• Agreed to changes for a $100 conference that House was to attend, as his original meeting was cancelled due to COVID-19. This class will allow him to attend the same class to get his hours, at another location and for less money, Herron said.
• Approved purchasing performance tires for three police units from Poor Boy Auto Sales for $490, essentially at cost. “This is normally an $800 or $900 set of tires,” House said.
• Decided to allow all full-time officers to have take home vehicles due to COVID-19, reducing exposure to different vehicles. She said only one full-time officer, Antoine Cobb, currently didn’t take home a vehicle and has been with the city for six years. He lives 6 miles outside a 25-mile radius, Herron said. All other full-time officers have been taking a car home. Officials said it would allow quicker response and better organization of his equipment in the vehicle. The mayor noted there is only one officer on duty at a time, and if a back up officer is needed he can go straight to the scene.
• Agreed to sell a Crown Victoria at the City Shop that is considered scrap.
• Voted to move the council meeting date. Herron suggested moving from the second and fourth Monday to the second and fourth Thursday nights as they once were. “It can be kind of hard to get everything we need together on a Monday. Mondays are usually crazy in the office anyway,” the mayor said. She also said Tuesday was an option, as District 2 Councilman Clarence Colbert sometimes calls games on Thursday. “I’d rather be Tuesday,” Colbert said.
• Heard District 1 Councilwoman Cindy Killingsworth asking for the financial statements to come once a month. However, Herron said the reason one was not available that night is because City Clerk Sherry Garner had been in an accident, although she has been trying to help as much as possible by phone from the house. Killingsworth noted she had missed a couple of meetings, but was told statements were issued until that night.
• Heard Herron say in passing that council agendas will soon start being given to council members a few days before the meeting. She said she would like agendas and financial statements made available to the council and mayor the Wednesday prior to the Tuesday meetings.
• Heard Herron said she was “heartbroken” not to have the July 4 fireworks show this year, but she was “strongly advised for the safety of the community” to not do it due to the COVID-19. “It was a chance I was not willing to take,” she said. Herron said the fireworks will keep for a possible future event, such as a back-to-school bash or a block party. “I am open to suggestions from the community and the school,” she said, noting the fireworks could even be split for separate events.
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