Alamo Council’s Busy Session Includes Emergency Allocation
The September meeting of the Alamo City Council was busy with a number of housekeeping items, including swearing in a new member, and an encroaching deadline for fixing an aging piece of equipment at the City’s Water and Sewer processing facility.
The meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. started over a half hour late following a lengthy executive session which began at 5:30 p.m. and at which no action was taken, according to Mayor Pam Lee.
City Attorney Russell Clark administered the oath of office to Geoffrey Villegas, who assumed the post of Harry Lewis, who resigned earlier this year. Villegas was the only person who qualified to fill the empty seat, determining that a special election for that seat will not be required in November. Villegas is a store manager at South Georgia Tools in Alamo and will fill the post through the end of the term in 2025.
Water and Sewer Plant Emergency After hearing from City Manager Jeff Floyd about the status of the blowers at the City’s wastewater treatment plant, the Council voted to expend $73,555 from the Water and Sewer account to remedy the problem. Floyd said the city had received only one bid from Southeast Environmental of Blackshear to repair the blocks on the two blowers at the plant.
Floyd said one blower was already inoperable when he came on board as City Manager, and the second blower was in bad condition. He said he had reached out to area companies to repair the blocks some time ago, but the Environmental Protection Division‘s September 22 deadline for addressing the problem was at hand and needed immediate action. Floyd said it would cost $300,000 to $400,000 to replace the plant’s entire systems, making the option of replacing only the blocks more realistic. The life expectancy of the blocks is 7 to 8 years due to daily wear and tear. He said if the City pays 50% down, the parts may be ordered and an action plan can be submitted to EPD ahead of the deadline.
The Council voted to advertise the City’s proposed 2024-2025 budget in the county’s legal organ, The Advance, ahead of a public hearing at the next Council meeting on October 10 at 6 p.m. at City Hall. The Council is expected to adopt the budget and set the millage at its November session, following three weeks allowing for public input. The public may view the budget on the City’s website and copies will be available at City Hall. Eastside Park Expenses
Councilman Dondrea Geter asked to Council to consider expedited allocations for providing water spigots and outlets at pavilions at Eastside Park. The improvements are needed ahead of an annual tailgate event at the park. The Council approved expending $2,250.99 for the work, using ARP funds for the electrical outlets and funds from water and sewer fund to provide the spigots. Floyd said the City will provide the labor.
The Council approved the suspension of its citywide policy on burning debris due to the hiatus of the City’s limbs and leaves collection. City Attorney Clark advised that residents will still need to be mindful of state regulations regarding the burning of items that could produce toxic smoke. The Council’s action will negate residents’ obligation to obtain permission from the City to burn debris. The Council’s action will be posted on the City’s media pages and information will be distributed in water and sewer bills. City Manager’s Report
Floyd advised the Council of an issue with two ornamental trees at the City’s Rose Garden/Veteran’s Memorial on Main Street (U.S. Highway 280). Floyd said the trees are encroaching on the flag poles at the site and potentially could cause damage to the monument. He requested the Council’s permission to remove the trees and grind the stumps, then replace the trees with another less problematic species situated further from the monument. His request included grinding the stumps from two other trees previously removed from the site. He estimated that grinding the stumps would cost about $100 per tree. The Council approved Floyd’s request and decided to inform city residents of the proposed work via City media and water bills.
Floyd advised the Council that work on the new City Hall is progressing on pace now after weather delays. He said the building’s roof is complete and that crews are working throughout the weekend to hang sheetrock and perform duct work as the inside of the structure is completed. The structure is expected to be ready for occupancy in mid-November.
The Council approved a $40,000 budget using ARP funds for furnishings for the new City Hall and the adjacent police headquarters. Floyd said he had received three bids from companies in the $30,000$45,000 price range. The Council was also advised that flooring and paint colors need to be selected.
Road Name Change, Trunk or Treat The Council approved renaming a portion of First Street as Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. The action required notifying the two residents and two churches on the street of the change, as well as the 911 Call Center. The public had been polled previously on the suggested change.
During the session, the Council approved holding the annual Trunk or Treat event at the City’s Rose Garden on Tuesday, October 31, 6 until 8 p.m. Area business, churches and organizations are invited to participate. For more information, contact City Hall. Police and Fire Reports
Chief Karen Zanders reported that her office responded to 66 calls during the past month and collected $195 in fines, as well as $351 from Red Speed camera violations in the school zone.
The Alamo Fire Department responded to 6 calls in August, including 2 downed trees and power lines cases, a missing juvenile, 2 vehicle accidents with injuries, and a gas leak. The department engaged in 8 hours of training addressing ladder bailouts, patient movement, and basic first aid.