The Eutaw City Council held its first regular meeting of the month on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. All members of the council were present.
The purchase and financing of the new $121,900 John Deere Backhoe was approved with Warrior Tractor and Equipment Company of Northport, Alabama. The company decided it did not want the city’s old machine as a trade in. The new backhoe will be financed over 48 months at a cost of $2767 per month, with a $10,000 down payment and 5.75% interest. The old machine will be sold as surplus.
Mayor Latasha Johnson commented, “This is part of our plan to have the equipment our employees need to get the job done in repairing and maintaining our streets, water, and sewer systems. The cab of the backhoe is enclosed so the driver will be air conditioned in the summer and warm in the winter.” The monthly payments will be shared 50% by the 7-cent gas fund and 25% each by the water and sewer fund.
The Council also received five months of financial reporting (October 1, 2022 to February 28, 2023 on city accounts, which showed that most account revenues were slightly above budgetary projections and expenses were at or below budget. The financial report on the USDA Loan and Reserve funds were on target. The annual loan payment to USDA of $102,218 was made as scheduled in December 2022.
The Council accepted a proposal for grant-writing from Grant Management of Fairhope, Alabama who will be paid out of grant proceeds.
The Mayor indicated that this group was experienced in writing state grants like Community Service Block Grants (CSBG) and others. The Mayor said there were many grant opportunities available to the city but that a grant writer was needed to prepare the proposals necessary to compete for grants.
Dinah Foreman, Alabama Coordinator of Environmental Services for Communities Unlimited, in Rogersville, Alabama, a technical assistance provider to ADEM, EPA and other state and Federal agencies made a presentation to the council on the services her agency could provide at no cost to the City of Eutaw. Her agency was referred to the city as part of our multi-year grant agreement for the improvement of the Eutaw-Boligee water and sewer system. Among the Assistance this group will provide are management analysis, water operator training, rate studies, board training and development of a policies and procedures manual for the system.
A representative of the PRC Specialized Transport Company, a wrecker service operating out of Northport addressed the council about his interest in purchasing some land around the National Guard Armory for an office and wrecker truck and car lot. No action was taken on the proposal and the representative said he would be back with a more definitive proposal.
In other actions, the Eutaw City Council:
• Approved travel for the Mayor and Water Department staff to attend the Alabama Rural Water Association Meeting in Montgomery, March 19-22, 2023
• Approved a City of Eutaw Public Records request form to seek information from the city.
• Approved payment of bills and claims.
• Heard complains in the public comments section about the service provided by Community Cable Company; assistance provided by Corey Martin, Water Operator, in moving a water meter at Wheatland Circle and concerns about the grant writer and locating sewer lines.