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Alamo City Council Proposing Burn Ordinance

A number of housekeeping items were on the Alamo City Council’s monthly meeting agenda on October 10, including the first reading of the leaves and limbs burn ordinance, an update on work at new City Hall, and a public hearing on the 2024 budget, which has thus far garnered no public comment.

The City moved its regular monthly meeting slot from the customary third Monday of the month on October 16 due to the unavailability of City Attorney Russell Clark on that date.

City Manager Jeff Floyd read the proposed burn ordinance, which was necessitated by the discontinuance of the City’s pickup of leaves and limbs. The City halted this service, which it contracted for through Republic Services, on August 1 due to Telfair Landfill’s cessation of receiving refuse from counties outside its borders. The City’s refuse has been going to the Telfair County landfill for several years, but as the landfill nears capacity and as administrators prepare for its expansion, refuse accommodation is limited.

Since the City had no burn ordinance in place, one was drafted which allows citizens to burn yard debris within the city limits. This ordinance does require citizens to refrain from disposing of and burning leaves and limbs in rights-of-way, and it also requires that citizens abide by state law as outlined on the Georgia Forestry website. The proposed ordinance is posted on the City of Alamo website and is expected to be adopted after its second reading on November 14.

Floyd reported to Council members that work on the new City Hall on Main Street (U.S. High way 280) is 65-70% complete and the structure is expected to be ready for occupancy in mid-November. The approximately $980,000 project is on budget. Rather than building a new facility to house City of Alamo administrative offices and police headquarters, the Council opted to renovate a city-owned building that had once served as a grocery store and pharmacy. An adjacent building is being repurposed to house police department functions. The existing facilities for administrative and police functions have become outdated and overcrowded.

The Council approved a proposal from ADT for security at the new administrative and police buildings. The agreement would provide interior and exterior monitoring at a cost of $245.98 monthly. Funds for the operation of the service would be taken from the City’s Water and Sewer fund, the General Fund, and the Police Department budget, with $4,600 for equipment coming from SPLOST.

The Council approved spending money from SPLOST for a digital sign to be erected in the vicinity of new City Hall after hearing a proposal presented by Scott Bombard of the Signstore of Macon. Bombard proposed a 4X8 foot, double- sided, high-resolution sign at a cost of $43,000, which includes online support as well as free content creation services in the first year of operation. Bombard said the cost of the sign could be adjusted depending on its overall size.

The sign would be situated in a location to be easily seen by motorists passing through downtown Alamo, but it is yet to be determined whether the sign could be mounted on the state highway right-of-way in front of new City Hall. The Council considered alternate locations, including a parking area at the corner of Main Street and Commerce Streets (Highways U.S. 280 and GA. 126). Floyd will investigate the issue regarding the state right-of-way and report back to the Council.

The City’s 2024 budget, which has been published in The Advance, the county’s legal organ, has thus far received no formal input from citizens. The budget has also been posted on the City’s website and is available for review at City Hall. The budget is slated for adoption on November 14.

Floyd said the 2024 budget is $1,656,000 lower than 2023’s budget of $1,674,412. “And 2023’s budget was $55,000 lower than 2022’s budget. We are going down and still looking for ways to save money, as well as new ways to spend discretionary money.”

The Council’s next session is scheduled November 14 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

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