Fort Payne Shutters DeKalb Theatre

Fort Payne Shutters DeKalb Theatre

By Marla Jones, Managing

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — The Fort Payne City Council conducted their regularly scheduled meeting via a virtual platform on Tuesday.

The Council adopted the FY2021 Municipal Budget in the amount of approximately $27 million, which did not include funding, aside from utilities, for the historic DeKalb Theatre. The Boom Days event also received no funding in the current budget.

According to Fort Payne Mayor Brian Baine, the city opted against funding for its public event venues, which also resulted in the layoff of three (3) City employees with another being moved to the Parks and Recreation department.

"I do not know what will happen to the theatre for sure though it does look like the doors will be shuttered for a period of time," said Maurey Roberts, the former Special Events and Venues Manager, who was laid off. "Also, I do not know what will happen with Boom Days."

Baine stated he hoped to revisit funding for the DeKalb Theatre next year.

Previously, the Fort Payne City Council allotted $200,000 to the Fort Payne City School system to provide school supplies for students, however, in the updated budget, only $50,000 has been made available for Fort Payne’s teachers.  The money saved by excluding this program will the hiring of two police officers.

The first reading of Ordinance 2021-02 was presented that allowed the City to adjust the rates by 3%, recurring every year for sanitation and sewer service. 

“I’m still not in favor of the recurring payment, being so much more than the cost of living index, right now,” stated Councilmember John Smith. “I think we need it because we are out of equipment over there but to just write a blank check that we are going to raise 3% thus every year, with no end in sight, I’m not for sure, I can live with it.” 

Since this is the first reading, the Council will vote on the Ordinance at the next meeting.

In other business the Council approved:

  • An appraisal for the sale of the DeSoto Golf Course (The County Club will not be shut down immediately but will phase out  in order to give time for those who use this facility currently for meetings)
  • Annual bids for fuel, sewer piping, rock, gravel, and asphalt
  • The appointment of John T. Davis and Kenneth Larson to the Fort Payne Improvement Authority Board
  • The appointment of Terry Camp to the Fort Payne Water Board
  • Resolution 2021-01 which authorizes TARCOG to administer the $450,000 CDPG grant, for the demolition of the Old Hospital building on Forrest Ave.
  • Ordinance 2021-01 which would allow businesses to advertise on the DeKalb Theatre Marquee (call Sonya at Fort Payne City Hall for advertising applications)

The next meeting of the Fort Payne City Council will be held on Tuesday, February 2.

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