Eutaw City Council approves resolution on use of National Guard Armory

Chief & Sumlin

Chief Coleman and Drug Task Force Commander, Clint Sumlin 


At its regular meeting on April 26, 2016, the Eutaw City Council approved a resolution clarifying the procedure for waiving or reducing the usage fee for the City’s National Guard Armory on Mesopotamia Street by non-profit organizations.
Currently the fee is $250 for a meeting or social event. The amount is higher for activities that are raising funds. The new resolution clarifies that to receive reduced cost or a waiver, a group or organization, must submit an application for a fee waiver or reduction. The applying group must attach a copy of their IRS 501(c) 3 charitable status; and be an “organization, group or individual who have a history of providing material items to the community, such as food, clothing, health care and the like”; or, a funeral repast for local residents. “The City is willing to reduce the fee for qualified community groups that will benefit residents of the City of Eutaw, but we are now, as of the adoption of this resolution, keeping files and records to make sure that the facility is used properly,” said Mayor Hattie Edwards.
The Mayor announced that the ALDOT project to resurface Prairie Avenue from the Courthouse Square to Highway 43 is proceeding according to plans and $750 was spent on a permit to cross the Norfolk-Southern Railroad tracks that cross Prairie Avenue.
The project is scheduled to be bid and constructed over the next few months.
Police Chief Derrick Coleman introduced Clint Sumlin, who is Area Commander for the area’s Criminal Drug Task Force. Sumlin spoke about the work of the Task Force in interdicting the drug trade in and around our area. “The Task Force invites local law enforcement officers to ride with them and participate in activities as part of our training efforts. We do not provide insurance for the officers, who are volunteering, but we expect their home base department will help with this,” said Sumlin. He said the Drug Task Force was needed and would help keep everyone safer.
Theresa Beeker addressed the City Council about organizing volunteers to help keep the City Park and tennis court in town, next to the Episcopal Church, clean so children and their parents can use it. She suggested that each council-member organize people in their district to clean and patrol the park one week a month, on a rotating basis. Mayor Edwards said that they would take this under consideration at a future meeting.
Carl Davis asked the police to help residents in Branch Heights to stop young people from shooting each other and into vehicles and homes. “These young people know that they cannot be held in the adult jail so they are shooting guns and provoking the police. We need to work with them and their parents to stop the violence,” said Davis.

Eutaw City Council approves election qualifying fees and other resolutions

At their regular meeting on May 24, 2016, the Eutaw City Council approved a schedule of qualifying fees for the municipal elections to be held in August. The qualifying fee for the Mayor’s office will be $50 and the fee to qualify to run for City Council will be $25.
The elections will be held on August 23, 2016 and the first official date to qualify will be after July 5, 2016.
The Eutaw City Council had a second reading of a Resolution on Demolition of Condemned Buildings. This resolution provides for the City to invoice property holders for the demolition costs of abandoned, burned or otherwise uninhabitable buildings in the city. A resolution listing three properties that were recently demolished: 1. 152 Vera Vista Street ($2,000); 2. 104 Elm Street ($2,500); and 3. 304 Kirksey Avenue ($3,000) was approved by the City Council. If these properties are sold, the City expects to recover its funds.
Council members said there were several other buildings in the city that also need to go through this process since their owners have abandoned them and they are a health risk to the neighboring dwellings and residents.
The Council also agreed that they would not go on private property to cut grass. They will cut grass and remove trash on city right-of-ways but not go on private property. Property owners will be informed of the need to care for their own lots and areas. Ken Aycock, City Attorney, was asked to draft a resolution clarifying this issue for passage at the next Council meeting.
In other business, the Eutaw City Council:
• approved submission of the Municipal Water Pollution Prevention (MWPP) annual report to State of Alabama Department of Environmental Management;
• approved the first reading of a Sub-Division Purchasing Agreement for housing lots to be sold by the City;
• approved a resolution to ALDOT in support of a state project to replace the traffic lights on all four corners of the Courthouse Square in Eutaw.
Mayor Hattie Edwards reported that she was still working on the major projects with USDA for improving the water system and fire protection and with ALDOT to repave Prairie Avenue.
City Inspector Torris Babb reported that the Prairie Avenue project was moving toward bids. He also reported that as he traveled around the city, he found a number of construction and repair projects that had not secured the proper building permits from the City for work that was underway. He urged the contractors to secure the proper permits and meet city regulations.
Council members reported on various street and drainage problems in their districts in need of attention and care by city staff.