The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

March 25, 2014

Meeting Notes: Athens City Council

By Jean Cole

— Athens City Council members voted on an array of resolutions at their regular meeting Monday. Council members considered the following items and voted 5-0 on those items requiring a vote:

• Held a public hearing on a request for a new alcohol license for the Dollar General at 15297 Pike Road. There was no opposition;

• Held a public hearing on a request to annex about a half acre of property at 23010 Nick Davis Road. The property, owned by Thomas Pike, will be home to Citgo gas station. There was no opposition. The council suspended the rules and voted 5-0 to annex the property. The council then held a public hearing on a request to zone the Citgo property as B-1 business district in keeping with the surrounding property. There was no opposition. The council suspended the rules and voted 5-0 to approve the zoning;

• Approved a $210 travel expenses for the Electric Department;

• Declared as surplus a 2009 Toro lawnmower and a Grasshopper 928 diesel lawnmower so the items could be sold on;

• Granted the Police Department’s request to spend $48,336 on the following equipment: three megaphones; five command boards; one desktop clearing trap and one full-size clearing trap, which are used to make sure rounds have been removed; one target stand; five patrol rifles and accessories; software; five in-car radars; one speed trailer; one LiDAR laser radar; encoding for handheld and car radios; and 10 UHF Kenwood brand radios. The Police Department is covering the cost with the $65,000 it was allotted from the 2013 city budget surplus;

• Agreed to acquire and easement for construction of a roadway and rail spur line in the Elm Street Industrial Park in north Athens. The city plans to extend Wilkinson Street/Airport Road by 2,600 feet by next fall to improve the park’s marketability. Mayor Ronnie Marks said the city would probably have to condemn the property, which would mean paying fair-market value for it;

• Approved a biannual contract for mowing and grounds maintenance at water tanks and other areas related to the Water Services Department of Athens Utilities. Mark Davis of Mobile Services of Athens, who submitted one of the five bids for the work, will be paid $3,000 per month for the general maintenance work.  Marks said the previous contractor left midseason last year and his contract had to be terminated;

• Approved a contract with Athens-Limestone Community Association regarding the Trinity School/Fort Henderson project. The contract allows the city to go on the property to assist in demolition or renovations;

• Authorized the mayor to enter into a contractual agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation for the widening and resurfacing of Lindsay Lane from Alabama 251 to Huntsville-Browns Ferry Road, excluding the area around Canebrake subdivision to Pepper Road;

• Adopted a resolution approving the Municipal Water Pollution Prevention report for the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. The annual report for Athens Water Services shows that up to 97 percent of pollutants have been removed from the water the city pulls from the Elk River to provide to its 10,600 water customers;

• Appointed John Bridgeforth as an alternate member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment to serve a three-year term;

• Appointed Mike McCoy as a regular member of the zoning board to fill the unexpired term of Travis Schrimsher, whose term ends Dec. 8, 2014;

• Authorized Public Works Director James Rich to issue a work task to Morell Engineering for preliminary/final design of Clinton and Forest streets;

• Accepted the auditor’s report on the city’s audited financial statement, which shows no findings and the city’s finances in good shape;

• Approved a special use permit for AT&T to modify existing facilities on Alabama 251;

• Approved a special use permit for AT&T for co-location on a tower on Commercial Drive.