SYLACAUGA, Ala. – The topics of city infrastructure and recreation consumed a majority of the Sylacauga City Council work session Tuesday.
Harry Ward of Engineering Design Technologies provided an update to the council on the progress of sidewalk redevelopment. His company is now 42 days into a 140 day contract. Site 1 (E. 2nd St. north to E 3rd St.) will be completed within the next week. Site 2 has not been started yet. Site 3 (W. 2nd St. north to W 3rd. St.) will be complete in the next 2-3 weeks. Site 4 (E. 5th St. north to E. 6th St. and Curran St. north to W. 6th St.) will be completed last. All projects are expected to be completed by Nov. 15 to meet ADA compliance set forth my ALDOT mandates.
Ward explained there have been some days lost due to inadequate materials such as ALDOT-approved concrete. According to Ward, ALDOT requires a certain grade of concrete and local supplies do not meet its specifications. Alexander City and Harpersville-based dealers are assisting.
Conversation by council president Lee Perryman moved to conceptual city-wide master planning citing a successful study and outline of the Albertville area by private firm Chambliss King. A similar proposal and study for Sylacauga would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to create. Perryman noted a 2017 preliminary meeting between the firm and city officials sparked a conversation of what could potentially take place. The firm would have months of open discussion with officials and citizens before a proposal was created. It was noted that it would be, like Albertville’s execution, an engaging community-wide project encompassing Parks and Recreation and that grants could be applied for to find the appropriate funding if explored.
According to Perryman, ADECA has been providing the City with funding for a pool for years. When constructed, the area in-which the pool resides was bound to continue operating as a park in order to retain state funding for future projects. He explained not maintaining it as such jeopardizes ADECA funding and could be problematic in the future. Perryman explained the City has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the pool and as recently as June 2020, Mayor Jim Heigl submitted a proposal saying the pool could be abandoned and it was approved citing construction of a splash pad could appropriately take its place in order to continue funding of future projects — like constructing another bigger pool.
Later in the council meeting, Mayor Heigl said he has encouraged the Council to fix the pool and then about-faced claiming he didn’t have “proof” there were issues with the pool saying “it’s [now] in the hands of the Council.”
In the same line, the Verlie B. Collins Community Center was discussed regarding multiple failed attempts to successfully repair roofing and foundation. As part of a master planning project, according to Perryman (which future monies from ADECA could help fund research) new recreational facilities, including a pool, would be explored. Councilwoman Tiffany Nix and Councilman Ashton Fowler were also vocal in their desire to rectify what citizens have been voicing their opinion on for months-on-end now.
In the meeting, the Fire Chief Nate Osgood recognized five firefighters that received promotions, in June, in conjunction with a company-wide re-structuring process. The firefighters completed both personal and professional leadership training courses and have proven to be dedicated members of the Sylacauga Fire Department.
Captain Jarrod Cunningham, Captain Tommy Chamberlin, Captain Sam Ogilivie, Lt. Josh Forbus, and Lt. Scott Kinds were presented with new badges, collar brass, and helmet shields.
Mayor Heigl noted the Payton Blvd. paving project has been completed and came in $40,000 under budget. Also regarding budgets, all seven city departments have completed their budgets and will be presented to the council in the coming weeks.
In other council news:
- Approved MOU for School Resource Officers with Sylacauga City Schools for the current school year.
- Approved purchase of a dehumidifier for Fire Station #1 offices from Culver Heating and Air Conditioning for $4,750.00.
- Approved repairs to Trane Chiller #1 at a cost of $5,287.00.
- Approved 020-Restaurant Retail Liquor Application from Harvey Keith Chandler, owner of Harveys on Noble, Inc., DBA Harveys on Noble, located at 280 North Anniston Avenue in Sylacauga. Request changes ABC license from Club Liquor-Class II to Restaurant Retail Liquor.
- Approved request from Fire Chief Nate Osgood to authorize the temporary assignment of Firefighter Brian Black as Interim Lieutenant for a period not to exceed 120 days, and to authorize a 5% pay increase during temporary assignment period to become effective Aug. 14, 2021.
- Approved travel/training expenses for two employees to attend Leadership Sylacauga. Registration fee is $750.00 per employee.
- Approved request of Fire Chief Nate Osgood to authorize substitution of A J Tubbs as the replacement of Logan Blake to attend the Fire Life Training Alabama HOT (Hands On Training) Conference in Tallassee November 3-4, 2021. Training approved on 7/20/21.
- Approved travel/training expenses for Judge Barry D. Vaughn, Prosecutor Matthew West, and City Attorney Win Livingston to attend the 2021 Fall Law Conference in Gulf Shores, October 21-23. Registration fee of $325 for members, and $425 for non-members; additional expenses for lodging, milage, and meals will be incurred; estimated expenses of $1,625 each.
- Approved July payroll in the amount of $402,138.49.
- Approved balance of Accounts Payable for July in the amount of $603,186.75.