By Marla Jones,Reporter • firstname.lastname@example.org
FORT PAYNE, Ala. — The Fort Payne City Council held their last meeting of the year on Tuesday, December 18. To open the meeting, the Council received public comments from citizens regarding the rezoning of Hixon Road.
Jane Montgomery, who owns 23 acres on the other end of Hixon Road, expressed her concerns regarding the timeline of Hixon’s rezoning. Montgomery thanked the Zoning Committee for their tireless work on the matter, but wondered about traffic control, accessibility of water and the situation’s overall safety.
She requested an understanding of what the timeline and improvements would be regarding the road. Fort Payne Mayor Larry Chesser that it would likely be two years or more before construction starts for the new 56-unit apartment complex which will be geared towards tenants that were 55 years and older.
Councilmember Wade Hill assured Mrs. Montgomery that the Council would address the traffic issues by obtaining additional right-of-ways and relocate utilities to be on the east side of the road.
“It’s a three-pronged attack, but it would be something that we would have a couple of years to get started on,” said Hill. The Council moved to accept Ordinance 2018-06 on the recommendation of the Planning Commission to rezone nine acres on Hixon Road from Rural Farm to R-3 (High Density Residential District).
In committee reports, Council President Brian Baine stated that he and fellow councilmember Lynn Brewer had met with Parks and Recreation Director Robin Brothers regarding the direct needs for her department. They said that they would be meeting with an architect soon to address those needs.
City Clerk Robert A. Parker announced that the Industrial Development Board had presented the City with a check in the amount of $21,035 for the pavement that was sold beside AP Plasman.
Ordinance 2018-07, which sets compensation and benefits for the Mayor and Council beginning in the 2020 administration, was brought up for approval.
Councilmember Lynn Brewer stated that the pay has not been changed in 18 years.
“I know none of us do this job for the money,” said Councilmember Brewer. “But it is a difficult job and I think to get quality candidates...it’s something that needs to be done.” The motion passed for the 2020 administration.
Bids were opened under Resolution 2018-49 for the first phase of the Police Department renovations. Four companies bid for the job with Boatner Construction coming in with the lowest bid of $855,000.
Human Resources Director Don Fischer updated the Council regarding the meeting he had with department heads to address the changes to the Sick Bank policy. He stated that after explaining his upgrades to the policy, the department heads were in agreement that this is something that should be passed. With these recommendations, the City Council voted to abolish the Sick Bank in order to move further in the process. Fischer will streamline, clean up, and add to policy that upon retirement, employees could receive half of their balance in pay. The employees will lose nothing, but will virtually gain some days. The new policy will be voted on in the next meeting.
The Council voted to surplus the Cobble Mill Building to Fort Payne/DeKalb E Center in the amount of $30,000.
In new business, the Council made a budget adjustment to public works in the amount of $137,851 for the purchase of a new leaf machine and various other needed items.
The Council made the following Board Appointments:
- Randy Moses to the Fort Payne Improvement Board
- Jo Dean, Vicky Kirby and Steve Eberhart to the Fort Payne Industrial Development Board
- Wade Hill to the Fort Payne Water Board
The next meeting of the Fort Payne City Council will be held on Tuesday, January 15 at 12pm on the second floor of City Hall.