Mayor Hattie Edwards
I want to express my heartfelt thanks to the voters of the great City of Eutaw for electing me to serve as your Mayor for the past four years. I would like to thank you for your confidence and your vote.
By the way, this is an election year. There are four men running for mayor again, against me, a woman trying to make a difference. The last four years were a challenge, but by the grace of the God I succeeded. I have secured over $5.2 million for the City of Eutaw, which will cover new digitally-read water meters as well as a new water tank, and two hundred new fire hydrants. We will also be able to replace the pipes on Hwy. 14. The road that runs by Merchant & Farmers Bank (Prairie Avenue) is in the process of being paved. I’ve had new traffic lights installed – all in a four-year period. Just imagine what I will do if given the opportunity to serve another four years.
At this time, I’m asking for your support and vote in my re-election campaign for Mayor on Tuesday, August 23, 2016. You may be asked to go out to the polls to vote for a different candidate for this position for a number of reasons, but I’m asking for your support because I’m the person not only with experience but with the dedication and a strong determination to continue to move Eutaw forward.
During my four years as your Mayor I feel I’ve demonstrated exceptional commitment, loyalty and hard work. But my job is not over yet. I need your support and trust again, because I’m determined to move Eutaw to the next level with your help and support.
Therefore, let my experience of forty six (46) years as a public servant, of which 34 years were with the county, 8 years on the Eutaw City Council, the last 4 as Mayor, stand for something.
Hattie Barnett Edwards
Mayor of City of Eutaw
Mayor Hattie Edwards
At Tuesday’s regular City Council meeting, Mayor Hattie Edwards distributed copies of letters from USDA Rural Development transmitting closing instructions for the $2,219,000 loan and $788,000 grant package for improvement of the City of Eutaw water system.
“We have been working on this $3 million package for more than three years. We have met all of the conditions and the project which will replace the old water tower in Eutaw, replace and extend water mains, install electronic water meters, repair 52 non-working fire hydrants and other improvements, is now ready to be bid,” said Mayor Edwards.
The letters which came from Ronald Davis, State Director of USDA Rural Development and Theresa Long, Area Director in Tuscaloosa set August 18, 2016 as the date to open bids.
City Attorney Ken Aycock indicated he has been taking with the various parties including a bank that will provide interim construction financing for the project while under construction to make sure all requirements are in place. The engineer for the project is Burns Whittaker of Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, who designed the project.
City Engineer, Torris Babbs commented that the work would begin with replacement of the water tower as phase 1. The City of Eutaw has an existing grant from the State of Alabama – ADECA-CDBG funds to repair the water tower. A portion of this grant remains, after it was determined that the old water tank, built in 1921 was un-repairable, which will be used toward this total project.
Babbs also reported that work on the resurfacing of Prairie Avenue, between the Courthouse Square and Highway 43, is proceeding on schedule and that bids for this project will be opened on July 25 at City Hall. “There will be several projects going on in Eutaw starting in August and going through the fall of the year and longer,” said Babbs.
Babbs also pointed out that he had observed several building projects, like roof replacements, room additions and others, that persons had not secured building permits from the City, before doing the construction work. All construction work in the city, residential as well as commercial, requires a building permit according to Babbs, the Mayor and City Council. Councilwoman Shelia Smith suggested that the City put out more notification, in the newspapers and other places, of these requirements.
In the absence of the City Clerk, Deadre Thomas, who is out on medical leave, the City Council approved employment of Ms. Johnnie Knott, retired Circuit Clerk of Greene County, to be interim city clerk and absentee election manager for the upcoming city elections on August 23. The council also approved a list of city election officials to serve for the municipal elections.
The qualifying period for the city elections closes next week on July 19 and absentee ballots will be available soon thereafter.
In other business, the City Council:
• approved travel for Derick Coleman, Police Chief to a training meeting on August 1-5, 2016;
• paid bills and claims for the period May and June 2016;
• reviewed a request from Hodges Smith, to rearrange some property boundaries on four acres of land purchased for construction of the Greene County Fire Fighters Association offices and training facility on Prairie Avenue at J Street;
• approved providing security and assistance in collaboration with the Greene County Commission for the Black Belt Folk Roots Festival;
• heard from a number of citizens in the audience praising the work of city employees, especially police and first responders, for their dedicated work and service.
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.