MINUTES OF A REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
OF THE MAYOR AND THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE
CITY OF TALLASSEE, ALABAMA
JANUARY 26, 2021
The Mayor and the City Council of the City of Tallassee, Alabama convened in regular session on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. at the Tallassee Municipal Complex. The meeting was called to order by Mayor Hammock and the following were recorded as present:
Mayor John Hammock
Council Members Jeremy Taunton
Fred Randall Hughey
John Smith was present as city attorney and secretary for the meeting.
Mayor Hammock presented the minutes of the council work session held on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. There were no additions or changes. Upon motion of Council Member Taunton and second by Council Member Hill, the minutes were approved by a unanimous vote.
Mayor Hammock presented the minutes of the regular council meeting held on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. There were no additions or changes. Upon motion of Council Member Hill and second by Council Member Brown, the minutes were approved by a unanimous vote.
Item 1: Mayor Hammock brought to the attention of the council that the city owned a van that was at the end of its useful mechanical life for the city. He relayed a request by Bishop Adolphus Gauntt, a representative of the House of Love and Mercy, a 503(c) charitable organization, that the van be donated to that organization for charitable purposes. Upon motion of Councilmember Huey and a second by Councilmember Godwin, the council unanimously approved declaring the van surplus and donating it to the House of Love and Mercy.
Item 2: Building Inspector Andy Coker gave a presentation on the status and obligations of his office. Among the matters discussed were current attempts to enforce the city’s nuisance ordinance and business license ordinances.
Item 3: Mayor Hammock brought to the council’s attention a proposal by the Alabama Municipal Insurance Company’s to create a fund to help municipal governments with storm cleanup costs, along with the City of Tallasssee’s participation in such a fund. This matter had been discussed during the work session and no action was taken by the council to participate in the fund.
Item 4: The Mayor brought to the attention of the council the issue of whether the animal control officer, who currently reports to the building inspector’s office, should become a report of the police department. Building Inspector Coker and Police Chief Matt Higgins made presentations regarding their beliefs about eh issue. Chief Higgins proposed hiring a non-law enforcement officer to man he position. Upon motion of Councilmember Hall and a second by Councilmember Brown, the council unanimously approved transferring the office of Animal Control Officer to the police department and authorized Chief Higgins to recruit and hire a non-law enforcement officer to fill the position.
Item 5: A proposed AFG grant for the Tallassee Volunteer Fire Department had been discussed in the work session immediately preceding the council meeting. Upon motion of Councilmember Taunton and a second by Councilmember Hill, the council unanimously approved the grant.
Item 6: Mayor Hammock reported on a number of issues.
- The Mayor requested, based on the December 2020 rate study report generated by Jackson, Thornton & Co, that the water rate for the city’s industrial customers be increased to a flat fee of $250 per month. Upon motion from Councilmember Taunton and a second by Councilmember Hall, the council unanimously approved the rate increase
- Next, there was a discussion about the February 9, 2021 regular work session and council meeting. Based on anticipated absences of several members and upon motion of Councilmember Taunton and a second by Councilmember hall, the council unanimously approved cancelling the February 9, 2021 work session and council meeting.
- The Mayor asked the council for nominees for the Tallassee Redevelopment Board and for the Industrial Development Board. There nominees would be considered at a later council meeting.
- The Mayor announced the bid openings for the Whatley Drive and Downtown projects will occur on January 28, 2021.
- The Mayor reported that the feasibility study for a hotel in Tallassee was progressing.
- The Mayor reported that $10,000 had been donated to be used for murals to be painted on downtown buildings. The Mayor is to discuss this with a proposed artist and downtown business owners to gauge any interest in this project and report back to the council.
- The Mayor announced that the repairs to the Recreation Center are complete.
- The Mayor also reported on the weekly Tallassee Talk podcast.
- The Mayor announced the opening of a new business in Ward 4, Restoration 49.
- The Mayor reported that only one limb truck is currently operational.
- The Mayor acknowledged that pothole repair was needed on certain roadways within the city but the work was being hindered by wet weather conditions. This affected both the ability to do the work and obtain the asphalt necessary to perform the work.
- The Mayor reported that the Alabama Department of Environmental Management had recently taken soil samples from the east side mill site. The city was also taking samples for asbestos and other materials.
- Finally, the Mayor announced that there had been a recent spike of Covid-19 cases in Tallassee and asked that citizens by mindful of practices to prevent the spread of this virus.
Item 7: Several councilmembers made reports.
- Councilmember Hill commended restoration 49 for opening in the Sizemore Building. She also asked the council to remember the Ward 7 representative on the Tallassee Board of Education who is ill.
- Councilmember Hughey brought to the council’s attention his belief that the stop signs and speed bumps on Lilly Avenue were no longer needed. He thanked the Mayor for his diligence on the pothole repair. He commended Tallassee Schools Superintended Dr. Brock Nolin for his diligence in pushing the new high school project and to Building Inspector Coker for his work enforcing the city’s nuisance ordinance.
Item 8: There being no further business before the council, and upon motion of Councilmember Taunton and second of Councilmember Hill, the council unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 6:34 p.m.
JOHN HAMMOCK, Mayor
WHITNEY PITCHFORD, City Clerk