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Council and Little League reps discuss plans for future lease relationship with Parks & Recreation, Blue Bell Creameries to resume construction


SYLACAUGA, Ala. – During Tuesday’s hour and a half work session, the Sylacauga City Council met with, and heard from, members of several different entities regarding city business.

The Council talked with President Rocky Sims and representatives of Sylacauga Little League, confirming the Parks & Recreation board, last week, approved the concept of managing a new lease for the Wingard Park property. Council president Lee Perryman explained that a superseding lease agreement should mirror terms of the current agreement yet remove the one-year termination option and extend through December 31, 2024, with Little League continuing to maintain the fields and fund improvements in lieu of paying rent.

“I’m really happy,” said Sims. “I think it will help our league grow even more when people know we are here to stay,” said Sims.

Perryman reminded Sims the City needed an insurance certificate for the current year and, for final drafting, asked that they confirm their business status. Sylacauga Little League is not listed as an active entity in the Secretary of State’s database as are many other Little League organizations in Alabama.

Sylacauga City Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Freeman addressed the council for what was likely his last visit with the Council. Among several items discussed, he requested that $420,000 from the 18.5 Ad Valorem Tax Reserve Fund be released and used for SCS building and operations that included insurance, technology infrastructure improvements including the Chromebook 1:1 initiative, safety upgrades, and projects related to insurance audit. A 5-0 vote was made in the council meeting.

Freeman said the softball and baseball fields that have been under construction for the last several months were able to be funded thanks to the last request for funds made to the City. Both softball and baseball fields will have ribbon cutting ceremonies at the end of the month.

In other city business, the council also met with V Adams of WastePro. The contract with the City ends on March 31, 2018. Lathan Associates, along with Mike Whetstone, addressed the council on several building projects.

The Council also approved a resolution accepting contribution from the Sylacauga Utilities Board and authorizing expenditure in the amount of $10,000 to the Sylacauga Arts Council, Marble Festival Fund to be used to promote the City of Sylacauga, its marble resources and history, and to help defray expenses of promoting and hosting Sylacauga’s annual “Magic of Marble Festival.”

District 3 City Councilman Donnie Blackmon announced Second Street Development will bring Dirt Cheap to the vacant Kmart building on W. Fort Williams St. The Hattiesburg-based business has been become a bargain-lovers dream for more than 25 years. Blackmon said Dirt Cheap will occupy 28,000 sq. ft. of the building with a remaining 4,000 sq. ft. & 8,500 sq. ft. remaining for future tenants. He said Second Street plans to turn the keys over to Dirt Cheap on May 1 with a tentative opening date set for, or around, June 1.

Also during the council meeting, a 4-0 vote (with Councilman Ashton Fowler abstaining to avoid employment conflict of interest) was made to move forward on Blue Bell Creameries expansion and authorization of extensions for the various construction-related permits in queue. These were halted in 2015 due to unforeseen circumstances.

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