The Eutaw City Council met on December 9 and December 13, 2022, to discuss dealing with housing for families displaced by the EF-1 tornado that hit Sagewood Apartments and other parts of Eutaw on Tuesday night, December 6, 2022.
The Council also considered debris clean-up in the areas where the tornado hit, including Ezekiel Baptist Church, Sagewood, Mesopotamia Avenue around the Robert Brown Middle School and the neighborhoods behind Kirkwood. Twenty homes were damaged by wind and falling trees in the area north of Mesopotamia Avenue, behind Kirkwood.
Mayor Latasha Johnson and the Eutaw City Council discussed debris removal with several local contractors at the December 9 Special Council meeting. The mayor arranged to meet with the contractors and city street department staff, the next day, to work out an affordable plan for debris removal and disposal.
At the December 15th regular meeting a major issue for discussion was the use of city vehicles and the policy that city police could drive their cars home, even if they live outside of Greene County, to be able to respond to emergency situations in a timely manner.
Chief Tommy Johnson said he supported allowing the city vehicles to be driven home by officers, instead of leaving them parked at City Hall, because this was a more efficient and effective way of combatting crime and responding to emergencies. The Chief said he had developed an inspection checklist to review the cars each week to make sure they were in operating order.
Council members LaJeffrey Carpenter and Valerie Watkins wanted this item on the agenda to be sure the City Council understood the budgetary and insurance cost implications of the vehicle policies.
Ms. Watkins said she met with the chief and was satisfied with his explanation of the vehicle policy. The Council voted to reaffirm the policy concerning use of the police cars and other city vehicles.
The Council referred an invoice with Babbs Engineering Consultants, former City Engineer, to City Attorney Zane Willingham to resolve. The Council approved a pricelist for pumps, motors, and other replacement parts and repair costs, for the water and sewer systems from Shephard Services, LLC of Tuscaloosa. The price list would give the city assurance in advance of costs to repair and replace major pieces of equipment in the coming year.
Ralph Liverman, city financial adviser, gave a financial report on the city revenues and expenses for the months of October and November and said the expenses were in line with budgetary projections and that revenues received were slightly larger than expected. The Council approved opening new bank accounts for the ADEM grants provided to the city for the water and sewage system upgrade and consolidation with Boligee.
Mayor Johnson reported to the City Council that she had re-appointed Teresa Beeker to the Greene County Industrial Development Authority and Jackie Allen to the Eutaw Housing Authority Board. She also appointed Sharon Trammel to the Greene County Emergency Medical Services Board, which supervises the ambulance services.
In other business, the Eutaw City Council:
• Approved purchase of a 2015 silver Chevrolet Tahoe truck for the Police Department
• Approved travel and per diem for Corey Martin to attend a plumber training program.
• Approved City Judge Joshua Swords membership in the Alabama Municipal Judges Association; and City Attorney Zane Willingham for the Alabama Municipal Attorney Association.
• Approved $19,200 contract with P. M. Roofing to complete roofing on the cafeteria of the Robert H. Young Community Center.
• Approved Holiday schedule for employees.
• Approved payment of bills and claims.