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City to take over median maintenance

Published 11:39am Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wetumpka City Council members hope to improve the impression those traveling along U.S. Highway 231 receive of the city.
Monday night the panel approved entering an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation (DOT) to allow the city to be responsible for maintenance of most of the Highway 231 medians from the Alabama Highway 9 intersection to just south of the intersection with Willow Springs Road.
“The state only cuts it once a year, usually just before the Fourth of July,” said Wetumpka Mayor Jerry Willis. “Sometimes the grass gets so high you can barely see the cars on the other side of the median from you.”
Tex Grier, the city’s public works director, said his department will handle mowing duties in grassy median areas and vegetation control on concrete medians.
“A lot of this is in my district,” said Councilman Greg Jones (D5). “I think this is going to approve the appearance of our city tremendously. Sometimes that’s all people see of our city, and we really want it to look good.”
In other council business:
•Approval was given to apply for an Appalachian Regional Commission workforce grant. Willis said the $250,000 grant, if awarded, will be used to establish a hospitality training school for people who will work at the hotel being constructed by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. The city would provide an in-kind match (use of the civic center for the school) at a value of $9,000.
•Permission was given to purchase two fully equipped police cruisers for up to $32,500 each. One may be ordered April 1 and the other July 1.
•A $15,000 appropriation was authorized to help fund continued research of the Wetumpka Impact Crater and future development of facilities.
•The low bid of $725 per cutting was accepted from Dismukes Lawn Care for grass cutting at the Wetumpka Municipal Airport.
•Approval was given for the Wetumpka Public Library to apply for a $15,000 grant that, if received, would be used for a new multi-function copier. The library would have to provide a $3,750 match.
•An ordinance to abolish the Christmas on the Coosa Board and Special Occasions Board was read for the first time.
•A new classification and pay scale for city employees was approved.
•The mayor was authorized to sign renewals of agricultural leases at the airport.
•A new Housing Code Abatement Advisory Board was established.
•Permission was granted for Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 822 to host its annual Fly-In at the airport April 27.

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