Eutaw water tower taken down, first step in water improvement project

water-towerAt the January 10, 2017 Eutaw City Council meeting, Mayor Raymond Steele announced that the old city water tower behind City Hall was taken down as the first step in a $3.1 million water improvement project financed by USDA Rural Development.
The 250,000 gallon water tower, constructed in 1921 and deemed by engineers as too costly to repair, will be replaced with a new water tower as part of the project. The contractor with a large crane dismantled the tower in less than two days.
The City Council approved paying bills for December 2016 with the exception of bills from Babbs Engineering. The City informed Babbs that his contract was terminated around Thanksgiving but he did not receive notice until the first week of December and he had already been working for another month. There is also a large outstanding bill for engineering on the Prairie Avenue resurfacing project, which can be reimbursed from the ALDOT that contracted for this work.
The Eutaw City Council approved a resolution amending the Prairie Avenue agreement with ALDOT to include paving other side streets that adjoin Prairie Avenue.
The City Council also agreed in principle with a request from Mayor Steele to involve HERO Inc., a non-profit housing development organization from Greensboro (Hale County) in the development of houses on land on Harris Avenue in Eutaw.
The Council also approved holding a “Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday” later in the year for the sale of generators, batteries, flashlights and other supplies for emergencies. The projected dates for this holiday were not announced. The Council tabled a listing of excess vehicles for sale because the full list is still under development.
Councilwoman Sheila Smith requested a working meeting of the Public Safety Committee to discuss police procedures and needs. The meeting was scheduled as part of a working session on January 24 at 5:30 PM before the next regular City Council meeting.
In the public comment session two citizens raised complaints. Charles Swanson of Eutaw complained about ambulance service for his wife and Channel Glenn complained that people were trying to harm or steal her dogs, “which are just like my children” she argued. She also questioned the use of HERO Inc. as an effective housing developer.
The Mayor said he would look into both complaints. Steele told Ms. Glenn that her pit-bull dogs were of great concern to other residents of the community who were afraid of the dogs attacking them. He also said that he was going to have to enforce the ordinances against violent dogs that were not properly restrained.

City of Eutaw receives $519,900 grant from ALDOT to pave Prairie Avenue

 

Mayor Hattie Edwards of Eutaw announced at the March 29, 2016 meeting of the Eutaw City Council that the State of Alabama Department of Transportation had made a grant to the city of $519,900 for repaving Prairie Avenue from Highway 11 (Boligee Street at the old Eutaw Drug location) to Highway 43.
This street is a major traffic thoroughfare that passes the U. S. Post Office, Merchants and Farmers Bank, the Greene County Democrat, The James Poole Memorial Library, King Village and Branch Heights. Construction on this project is scheduled to start in May 2016. The city and the county are still looking for funds to pave the streets within the Branch Heights Sub-division, which are in a state of serious disrepair.
At the March 29 meeting, the Eutaw City Council endorsed the work of SCORE (Sharing Christ Our Redeemer Enterprise) International and Domestic. SCORE is planning to hold a summer festival in Greene County on June 20-23, 2016 primarily to serve children and young people in the county. SCORE is exploring various options to hold the festival including the Eutaw City Park. The Council voted to give the group a letter of support.
The Council discussed an issue brought by John Campbell a volunteer with the Son Light Ministry Center of Jamison, Alabama that distributes day-old bread from bakeries in Alabama to poor people. The group, which had secured the approval of Police Chief Coleman to pass out bread at the vacant lot next to Solomon Drug Store, was sent away due to complaints from Piggly Wiggly and Solomon Drug.
Campbell requested the help of the City Council in finding a place for his charitable group to distribute bread. Several locations including the National Guard Armory, Eutaw Activity Center, Greene-Sumter Farmers Market shed, and the area and park behind City Hall. The Council said they would make the National Guard Armory available if the location was close enough to low income people in town.
Mayor Edwards announced that the City was scheduling meetings with area banks to seek interim financing for the $3.1 million USDA/Rural Development water system improvement loan and grant project. The city is required to finance the project through construction and then USDA comes in when it is built and inspected to the required specifications and approves it for payment, including the interim financing costs.
At the March 22, 29 and April 12, 2016 meetings, the Eutaw City Council took other actions:
– approved contract with CNI for $13,745 for billing softwear and training for the water department, this includes an additional $675 per quarter for on-going support;
– renewed contract with RDS for administering the City’s business licensure procedure;
– agreed to lift a freeze on hiring for the Street, Water and Police Departments;
– approved use of $9,000 from the City’s gasoline tax fund for the emergency paving in Branch Heights and the dirt road from Elm Street and Oak Street;
– supported the ‘Back to School Sales Tax Holiday’ for August 5 to 7 for sales tax abatement on school supplies. The estimated sales tax revenue loss to the city will be $3,500 for agreeing to this holiday.
– approved official travel for staff members to training conferences and payment of all bills through March 2016.