MINUTES OF A REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
OF THE MAYOR AND THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE
CITY OF TALLASSEE, ALABAMA
JUNE 11, 2019
The Mayor and the City Council of the City of Tallassee, Alabama convened in regular session on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the Tallassee Municipal Complex. The meeting was called to order by Mayor John Hammock and the following were recorded as present:
Mayor John Hammock
Council Members Jeremy Taunton
Joe Seawell Moore was present as city attorney and City Clerk Barbara Garnett acted as clerk for the meeting.
Mayor Hammock presented the minutes of the council work session held on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. There were no additions or changes. Upon motion of Council Member Wilson and a second by Council Member Carr, the minutes were approved by a unanimous vote.
Mayor Hammock presented the minutes of the regular council meeting held on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. There were no additions or changes. Upon motion of Council Member Brown and a second by Council Member Taunton, the minutes were approved by a unanimous vote.
Item 1: Mayor Hammock presented a resolution authorizing a new bank account for the funds from the State Revolving Fund loan and the EDA grant for the sewer rehabilitation project. Council Member Wilson made a motion that the resolution be adopted, seconded by Council Member Brown. Upon a vote, the motion passed unanimously. Resolution #2019-617 was adopted.
Item 2: Mayor Hammock presented 3 bids for capital improvements to be paid from the receipts of the Alabama Oil Trust Fund: replace the roof at the ACTS building for a cost of $21,777.00, carpentry work, reseal windows and paint at the Senior Center for a cost of $7,333.33 and paint the storm shelters at city hall for a cost of $3,850.00. These had been discussed in the work session. It was determined that more information was needed on the work at the ACTS building and the Senior Center. Council Member Taunton made a motion to approve the estimate of $3,850.00 to paint the storm shelters. A second was made by Council Member Carr. Upon a vote, the motion passed unanimously.
Item 3: Mayor Hammock presented a contract for consulting services provided by Retail Strategies, LLC. It is a three year contract with an annual fee of $30,000.The contract may be terminated at any time with a 30 day written notice. Council Member Hill made a motion to approve the contract, seconded by Council Member Godwin. Upon a vote, the motion passed unanimously.
Item 4: Mayor Hammock stated that the general budget should be amended to transfer $25,000 from account 01-501-5014 Building/Maintenance to 01-5145070 Local Economic Development to pay the first year fee of the contract with Retail Strategies, LLC. Council Member Hill made a motion to suspend the rules, seconded by Council Member Godwin. Upon a roll call vote, the following was recorded: Voting Yay – Council Members Taunton, Hill, Carr, Wilson, Brown, Godwin, Stough and Mayor Hammock. Motion passed unanimously. Council Member Godwin made a motion to amend the budget to transfer the funds. Council Member Hill made a second. Upon a vote, the motion passed unanimously.
Item 5: Mayor Hammock presented a letter from Keith Tuck, Tallassee Community Outreach, expressing appreciation for the funding assistance they received last year. He requested funding assistance in the amount of $1,000 again this year. This program has been funded for the last several years. Council Member Wilson stated that the funds were in the budget. Council Member Carr made a motion to approve the request. Council Member Godwin made a second. Upon a vote, the motion passed unanimously.
Item 6: Mayor Hammock presented a request from the Tallassee 6U Allstars asking for a donation to assist with expenses related to traveling to different tournaments. Council Members Wilson and Godwin were in agreement that if $200 was approved, that would leave a balance for other teams if they should ask for it. Council Member Hill made a motion to give the Tallassee 6U Allstars $200. Council Member Taunton made a second. Upon a vote, the motion passed unanimously.
Item 7: Mayor Hammock presented a recommendation from Council Member Wilson that Stephanie Weldon and Regina Hooks be appointed to the open positions on the Parks and Recreation Board. Council Member Hill made a motion to appoint Stephanie Weldon to the Parks and Rec Board. Council Member Carr made a second. Upon a vote, the motion passed unanimously. Council Member Brown made a motion to appoint Regina Hooks to the Parks and Rec Board. Council Member Godwin made a second. Upon a vote, the motion passed unanimously.
Item 8: Building Inspector Andy Coker gave a status report on the old Hotel Talisi building located at 14 Sistrunk Street. He stated that work had begun last week bracing the 2nd floor to the 3rd floor in the event of a falling wall. Third floor beams have been pulled down and the roof above the 3rd floor should be down by the end of this week or first of next week. He stated that they should know more in about a month of a definite time frame and a specific scope of work.
Item 9: Mayor’s Reports: Mayor Hammock reported that Gulf Packaging would host a grand reopening on June 25, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
The CDC did a great job with the Tallassee Now Riverfest this past weekend.
The Tallassee 11-12 year old Allstars are playing on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
The 2019 Back to School sales tax holiday will be July 19 – 21, 2019.
Mayor Hammock presented a document from Larry Williamson, a resident of 306 Riverside Avenue, expressing his concern with the street and house numbers in the East Tallassee area. Delivery companies, mail personnel and even police have been confused about Riverside Avenue and Riverside Drive and Ashurst Avenue and North Ashurst Avenue.
The bid opening for the timber sale will be July 9, 2019 at 10:00 at City Hall.
Mayor Hammock stated that the Council should go into executive session to discuss personnel and pending litigation issues. Council Member Taunton made a motion to enter into executive session, seconded by Council Member Hill. Upon a vote, the motion passed and the Council Members entered into executive session at 6:18 p.m.
Upon a motion by Council Member Hill, a second by Council Member Carr and a unanimous vote, the Council Members ended the executive session at 6:57 p.m. and reconvened in the regular council meeting.
Item 10: Council Reports: Council Members Taunton, Hill, Carr, Brown and Godwin had no comments.
Council Member Wilson stated that it had been a year since the 1 cent sales tax had been approved for the purpose of a new high school. He wanted to know how much was in the account. Mayor Hammock stated that the balance was approximately $324,000. The tax went into effect on July 1 and collection started in August. Council Member Wilson asked if anyone had heard from the school board about a time line and scope of work. Mayor Hammock stated that the school board had been told when he, Council Member Godwin and John Smith had met with them on February 28th that they needed to submit a time line and scope of work. Council Member Godwin stated that this had been plainly expressed to the school board and the city officials are getting criticized because of no progress. City Attorney John Smith has emailed the school’s attorney several time regarding their plan to address the safety issues that Police Chief Matt Higgins and Fire Chief Travis Jones had identified in their formal inspection report. Council Member Wilson stated that he knows of 3 different plans the school board considered but they keep changing. Citizens want to know why the tax was added if the school board is not going to go forward with the construction of a new high school.
Council Member Wilson suggested that at the next regular council meeting the Council Members consider redirecting those tax dollars to build a swimming pool for joint use by the city and school or soccer fields for school and recreation leagues. He stated that redirecting those funds for at least 3 years could pay for those projects and give the school time to finalize their plans. Mayor Hammock stated that there are grant funds available for soccer fields and bleachers. It is a 50/50 match which would cost approximately $165,000. A swimming pool in the exact location with a splash pad and repairs to the building would be approximately $1million, a total of approximately $1.2 million. Mayor Hammock also stated that if the Council amends the ordinance to redirect the sale tax funds, those funds already collected would still belong to the school. He stated that the school has 6 to 7 million dollars in reserves. The city doesn’t have any reserves but has a lot of needs such as a new sewer plant, gas lines replaced, recreation and infrastructure issues. Council Member Godwin stated that the school should be given an opportunity to give a specific plan and realistic time frame by the next council meeting.
Council Member Wilson announced that the VFW was holding a Flag Ceremony on Friday, June 14, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. They were selling tickets for a steak dinner.
Council Member Stough stated that someone needed to keep a check on the parking lot under construction by the Jehovah’s Witness. There are already drainage issues in the area.
Item 11: There being no further business before the Council, upon a motion made by Council Member Hill and a second by Council Member Carr, all Council Members present voted to adjourn the meeting. The meeting adjourned at 7:16 p.m.
JOHN HAMMOCK, Mayor
BARBARA B. GARNETT, City Clerk