Eutaw City Council agrees to purchase E-911 building

Mayor Latasha Johnson presents Juneteenth proclamation to Luther ‘Nat’ Winn, Greenetrack CEO


The Eutaw City Council met for its second Tuesday regular meeting on
June 14, 2022. All council members and the mayor were present for the meeting.

The Council agreed to purchase the building on Prairie Avenue, diagonally across the street from the Eutaw City Hall, currently occupied by the E-911 emergency dispatching service. The building will be purchased for $45.000 in four payments of $11,250 over the coming year from Addigene G. Harbor, the current owner. The building will be used for additional office and meeting space for the city, when E-911 moves to its new office on Highway 43.

The Eutaw City Council voted to approve a one-time longevity bonus for retirees from the city which requires a small additional contribution from the city to the State Retirement Agency.

The City Council approved an $1,100 work order for city engineers to do the required annual safety inspection of bridges in the city limits.

The City Council approved requests from Chief of Police, Tommy Johnson for purchase of two Four-Wheeler to use for police work in case of floods, like the recent storms in Branch Heights and to search missing persons in wooded areas; and approved holding the 2nd Annual First Responders Parade on June 30, 2022.

Also approved by the Council was purchasing a new John Deere Backhoe Loader-4WD, for the approximate cost of $100,000, in the next year’s budget; approved payment of bills and claims; and authorized a contract to Pastor Construction company for less than $50,000, to repair the culvert under Springfield Avenue, rip-rap the creek bank and repair the curbing, at a site behind City Hall.

The Eutaw City Council voted to approve a proclamation honoring Juneteenth and approved celebrating the national holiday, commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. in Galveston, Texas in 1865. Mayor Johnson presented the proclamation to Luther “Nat” Winn, CEO of Greenetrack that is holding several events to honor Juneteenth.

In her remarks, Mayor Latasha Johnson said that ADEM has stopped the City of Eutaw from burning trash collected from city streets like tree limbs, old furniture, mattresses and other materials. “We do not have a city landfill to dispose of large garbage items. We have several dumpsters behind City Hall but it is expensive to get them emptied and serviced. We also do not have a dump truck to transport excess materials to a landfill. We may need to consider adding $2 or $3 as a fee, added to our water bills, to handle the trash that people take out of their houses and set on the streets.”

The Mayor said the city was considering purchasing a heavy-duty chipper to chip up tree limbs and similar waste left in the city.

Chief Tommy Johnson reported that the body of Officer Croom was driven through the city on its way from Meridian, Mississippi, where he was killed to his final resting place in his hometown of Tuscaloosa. Croom served for a short time as a member of the Eutaw Police Force. Other council members commented on road and street problems as well as burned out houses that the city needs to condemn.

City of Eutaw receives $309,083 payment from American Rescue Plan for coronavirus needs and infrastructure improvements

Police Chief Tommy Johnson and Mayor Latasha Johnson award Certificate of Appreciation to 7-year-old Draylon Davis at the June 8, 2021 City Council meeting for his courage, bravery and presence of mind to call for help for his mother, Marquita Davis, who was having a medical emergency. “His calm response in contacting help probably saved his mother’s life,” said the Chief.


During last night’s City Council meeting, Mayor Latasha Johnson announced that the city had received a payment of $309,083.08 from the American Rescue Plan Act federal funds for states and cities to cover coronavirus expenses and invest in infrastructure improvements to improve the city for the future. This is the first half of the funding the City expects to get from the ARPA funds. The Council approved a $2,500 one-time loyalty payment to all city employees who continued to work and provide essential services during the pandemic. “These funds will go to our 40 employees who willingly gave their support and services during a difficult time. They enabled us to keep City Hall open and continue to provide basic services like water, sewer, streets and garbage collection,” said Mayor Johnson. The Council also approved a salary increase to $1,500 a month for City Judge Joshua J. Swords. A $500 increase was approved for City Attorney Zane Willingham. The Mayor said the rest of the funds will be allocated to improvements in the City’s infrastructure, like street repairs, a telemetry system for the Water Department and other projects which will help the long-term development of the City. Mayor Johnson also reported that with the help of the City’s financial adviser, Ralph Liverman and its CPA, the City reached an agreement with IRS to pay $19,715 in tax liabilities for 2015. Records and payments for tax years 2019 and 2020 were accepted. The City was required to file IRS 941 Quarterly Tax Reports for 2018 and the IRS would calculate the taxes due. Mayor Johnson said, “Once we submit all the requested information, the IRS will be able to determine our tax liability for that year. We feel it will be less that the $230,000 previously discussed since some of the taxes for this period have already been paid. Once we reach an agreement on 2018 then IRS will lift the lien against the City of Eutaw.” In other business, at the June 8 and 22 meetings, the Eutaw City Council:

• Approved the Water Department Identity Theft Prevention and Response Plan, since the city is accepting credit card payments on line, this will help protect people’s confidential information.

• Approved contract leasing the city’s farmer’s market space for ten years to the Greene and Sumter Farmer’s Market Cooperative for a nominal amount.

• Approved a contract between the City of Eutaw and the West Alabama Food Bank for the distribution of food to people in need.

• Set a meeting date of June 29 at 4:00 PM for a meeting of the City Council with the City Zoning Board to discuss the location of “modular homes” in the City, based on the ordinances and making more spaces available for mobile homes.

• Ended the City’s mandatory mask mandate for the prevention of the coronavirus but left the decision of wearing masks up to the individual’s discretion.

• Approved rental agreements for Brielle’s Boutique and HUGS A LOT Daycare for spaces at the Robert H. Young Community Center (old Carver Middle School); also approved business licenses for Christ Temple Church for a coffee shop, furniture store and theater; also, a business license for Paula Calligan’s Adjusted Crowns Hair Salon at 322 Brown Avenue.

• Agreed to change signatures on the Citizens Trust Bank bank accounts; and pay bills for the month of June. Mayor Johnson complimented the Chief of Police, Tommy Johnson, on the Police and First Responders Parade held in Eutaw last Thursday, June 17th. Chief Johnson announced that he will be holding a Coffee and Donuts Public Meeting on the second Thursday of each month at City Hall, beginning on July 8, 2021 at 10:00 AM. The public meeting will be a chance for people to raise comments, complaints and suggestions with the Chief of Police and his staff.

Eutaw City Council moves forward, secures help with finances and operating water system

Tommy Johnson take oath of office as new Police Chief of Eutaw on Nov. 2, from Judge Josh Swords; his wife holds Bible.

By John Zippert,
The new Mayor and City Council of Eutaw met for its first regular meeting on November 10, 2020 at the Carver School Community Center gymnasium. The City Council held an Organizational Meeting on November 2nd after they were sworn-in to handle procedures and appointments.
Mayor Latasha Johnson said that she had spent most of the past week learning about the operation of the City’s water system and securing a needed permit from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, which had expired in the Spring of the year.
Mayor Johnson indicated that she had received help from Kathie Horne of Rural Water Management, a consulting firm, that the previous mayor had barred from working at the City Hall. “We worked most of last week and weekend with ADEM to secure the permit to operate our water system. We were about to incur fines of $10,000 a day for being out of compliance but we have resolved this issue,” said Johnson.
Johnson, City Clerk Kathy Bir and Assistant Clerk Joe Lee Powell have worked with Rural Water Management, the computer softwear company that handles the water billing and others to begin to unravel the billing and water loss problems of the Eutaw Water System.
Powell said, “By January 2021, we should have a pretty good handle on the water meters, billing and revenues; in November, we billed for over $90,000 water, sewer and garbage bills. We are also enforcing a “no cash policy” which means residents must pay their bills with checks or money orders.”
Johnson presented a proposal from former City Council member, attorney and financial management consultant to York and Livingston, Ralph Liverman, to provide financial management services to the Eutaw City Council including preparing a budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, monthly financial reports, a four-year capital and infrastructure improvement plan and budget. Council approved this agreement with Liverman, which will cost no more than $1,500 a month.
The Council appointed Mayor Latasha Johnson as “City Water Superintendent” for a compensation of $800 month in addition to her salary as Mayor. When asked, how the City was going to pay for all these expenses, Mayor Johnson said, “We have found and deposited over $30,000 in checks and cash this week, that was casually lying around in the office, in drawers and cabinets. Also, we are expecting better revenues from the Water Department, as we straighten it out and there are some positions we discontinued and will not fill, until we are sure we can afford them.”
In other actions, the Eutaw City Council:
• Received a proclamation from Alabama Governor Kay Ivy extending the state “Safer at Home” health order, which includes mandatory mask wearing, from November 8, 2020 to January 7, 2021. Councilwoman Tracie Hunter suggested that the City check with local businesses and urge them to enforce the mask mandate because some are not requiring mask wearing.
• Agreed to advertise available city positions for 3 weeks in both local newspapers. The positions include: Utility Clerk, Assistant Utility Clerk, UCR Clerk and Assistant Clerk, Water/Sewer Workers and Street/Garbage Workers.
• Approved a new City employee pay scale which will raise wages for most employees.
• Approved purchase of an overnight deposit bag for Merchants and Farmers Bank.
• Agreed to celebrate Veterans Day (November 11) as a paid holiday for city employees.
Chief of Police, Tommy Johnson introduced has staff of new officers and said all would wear unforms rather than other forms of dress.
Mayor Johnson asked Council members with resident’s complaints about streets, drainage and other concerns, to put them in writing and submit them, so she and the city staff can be sure to respond and correct any problems.
Councilwoman Jacqueline Stewart asked that the City Council members be informed between meetings of any new hires for city positions so that they would know before their constituents questioned them about new people.
Councilwoman Valerie Watkins asked for a training in Robert’s Rules of Order, so they would know the proper way to make motions and conduct city business.
Councilwoman Tracie Hunter asked the audience “To pray with us and for us and be patient as we learn how to be a good City Council.”

Local leaders meet to discuss safety strategies for community regarding COVID-1

Eutaw Postal Clerk, Bessie Smith serves a customer behind separation of plastic sheet, trying to insure some measure of protection.

Editor’s Note: The following information was provided by Ms. Iris Sermon, E911/EMS Director

On Sunday, March 29, 2020, a group of officials of Greene County met to discuss and share strategies that could assist in protecting local citizens and first responders regarding the COVID-19 Virus. To comply with Governor Kay Ivey’s mandate, the gathering was limited to the four Town Mayors, the County Commission Chairperson, the Greene County Health System CEO, Greene County Schools Superintendent, Chief of Police, Greene County Sheriff and Greene County E911/EMA Director.
Those in attendance also positioned themselves six feet apart as mandated for health security purposes.
The group noted that they did not call a public meeting because of the state and federal mandates limiting numbers that can gather and observing physical distancing because of the virus.
The officials agreed to continue to publicize, through various means, the seriousness of the COVID-19 Virus and the precautions and mandates the citizens must follow for the safety of all.

These include the following:

  • Stop Social Gatherings, including house and yard parties; youth gathering in groups in any location.
  • Practice Physical Distancing, stay 6ft. apart from others .
    Practice Safe Hygiene, wash your hands with soap and hot water for 20 seconds or use sanitizer.
    Clean Surfaces Frequently, doorknobs, counter tops, telephones, eye glasses.
  • Stop Traveling, do not go in and out of infected areas. If you know of someone traveling to Greene County or in your area coming from emergency pandemic areas – ask them and inform them of the national mandate to isolate themselves for at least 14 days.
    Germs Live on Surfaces – 2 to 8 hours on aluminum; 8 hours on gloves; 24 hours on cardboard; 48 hours on stainless steel (example water faucets) 2 to 3 days on plastic (example water bottles); 4 days on glass; 4 days on wood.
    *If You Have Symptoms – coughs, fever, shortness of breath, contact your physician, local clinic of hospital for an appointment or call the testing line to arrange for testing (you will be screened) 1-888-264-2256. If line is busy continue to call.
    Currently there are three Greene County citizens confirmed with COVID-19 virus.
    Confirmed COVID-19 in our surrounding Counties: Marengo – 4, Pickens – 2, Sumter – 1; Tuscaloosa – 27. As a citizen you are not provided with the names, exact locations and/or addresses of COVID-19 infected persons, therefore it may be safe to treat each person as a possible carrier. Protect yourself and the community. Check with your local town officials for more specific plans regarding your safety.