Prattville – The Public Hearing of the Prattville City Council was called to order at 6:00 PM on July 7 in the City Council Chambers. Councilman Tom Miller (acting as President Pro Tempore) stated that there were three items on the agenda that had been previously introduced:
Resolution 1: To Declare Various Weeded Lots to be a Public Nuisance and Ordering Their Abatement per Title 11, Chapter 67 of the Code of Alabama, 1975, as Amended. This resolution was introduced June 2, 2009. There was no one who spoke in favor of the resolution.
City Planner, Joel Duke stated that there were four properties on this resolution; 163 Primrose Drive was shown as uncut, 317 Cambridge Street is basically taken care of, 133 Warwick is uncut, and one address to a vacant lot facing Sheila Boulevard (there is an agreement with the property owner) and that one has been taken care of.
Ordinance 2: Request To Rezone Property Located at 625-A-Durden Road from R-3 to B-2. This was introduced June 2, 2009. Councilman Miller asked if there was anyone who wished to speak in favor of this ordinance. Chip Cleveland, representing S&M Concrete, stepped to the podium. He provided to the Council an aerial photo (off of Google Earth) of that location. He said that a building permit was given to S&M Concrete to make some modifications to the existing structure on the site and asked the Council to ignore the recommendation that there not be a variance given.
It was asked if anyone in the audience wished to speak against Ordinance 2 and several spoke at the podium including Bob Debardeleben and Tommy Ray, both of Prattville. Concerns voiced were decreased property values, increased traffic, difficult traffic situations, and future businesses will want to go into the area if approved.
Resolution 3: To Declare Various Weeded Lots to be a Public Nuisance and Ordering Their Abatement per Title 11, Chapter 67 of the Code of Alabama, 1975, as Amended. This was introduced June 16, 2009. No one spoke in favor of the resolution and no one spoke against the resolution.
The Public Hearing was closed after about thirty-five minutes. The regular City Council meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Invocation given by Councilman Willie Wood Jr. Role was called and Councilman Miller introduced Wilson Pickett’s brother, Maxwell Pickett.
Picket came to the podium and declared how excited his family was that Prattville was doing something to honor the legacy of Wilson. He said his family grew up in Prattville as sharecroppers. Pickett also said that all of his brothers and sisters were grateful to the city.
Next on the agenda was the approval of the minutes for June 16 and June 29. When they were approved, Councilman Miller stated that this was an opportunity for anyone in the audience to share with the Council. Items discussed from citizens included concerns about the pay raises and a back-to-school rally being sponsored by a non-profit organization called the Oasis of Hope Foundation.
Mayor Jim Byard Jr. came to the podium to give his report. He invited Angie Jordan who is the District Director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Chief Stanley Gantt up to the podium. The firefighters have been collecting money for Muscular Dystrophy and July is Prattville Firefighter Appreciation Month. The mayor then read the Proclamation and commended all of the firefighter’s efforts on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The audience responded with a standing ovation.
Jordan thanked everyone for the ovation and introduced a local family, Stephanie Fielder and her son, Hayden, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Stephanie spoke for a few minutes, commenting on how MDA has helped them. She wanted to thank them and the Prattville Fire Department for everything they had done.
The mayor also mentioned that the city had sent a letter of intent to the Alabama EMA to let them know that they are applying for some mitigation funding and city staff would be meeting with the Alabama EMA this Thursday. He spoke for a couple of minutes about the proposed pay plan and told everyone that the city would never bring a plan to the City Council if it wasn’t financially responsible.
“This was a compensation study,” the mayor said. “All of the pay classifications were studied and this has been about a two-year process. $100,000 was budgeted to adopt the results of the compensation study in the fourth quarter of this budget year.” He continued, saying that the plan that was before the council cost in the neighborhood of $83,000 for the next five pay periods and it costs $400,000 annually. The mayor asked the council to move forward with the compensation study.
Councilman Miller then moved to the first five items on the regular agenda and it was motioned to place them on a consent agenda. He then read the resolutions:
Resolution 1: To Declare Various Weeded Lots to be a Public Nuisance and Ordering Their abatement per Title 11, Chapter 67 of the Code of Alabama, 1975, as Amended.
Resolution 2: To Declare Various Weeded Lots to be a Public Nuisance and Ordering Their Abatement per Title 11, Chapter 67 of the Code of Alabama, 1975, as Amended.
Resolution 3: To Appoint Kitty Dora Houser to the Board of Zoning Adjustment.
Resolution 4: To Set a Public Hearing to Declare Various Weeded Lots to be a Public Nuisance and Ordering Their Abatement per Title 11, Chapter 67 of the Code of Alabama, 1975, as Amended.
Resolution 5: To Set a Public Hearing for a Lounge Retail Liquor, Class 1 License for Club BTS, LLC d/b/a Behind the Scenes.
Move to adopt the resolutions to a consent agenda was approved. The regular agenda was read:
Ordinance 1: Request To Rezone Property Located at 625-A Durden Road from R-3 to B-2. This was first introduced June 2, 2009. It was the subject of the Public Hearing earlier in the evening. It was asked if there was any further discussion on Ordinance 1. Councilman Mike Reneger asked if the council denies the rezoning, what recourse would the landowners and the property owners have after that. It was answered that S&M Concrete could appeal that to Circuit Court and that would be their next step. It was then voted on and Ordinance 1 failed with a unanimous vote.
Resolution 2: To Adopt Proposed Pay Plan and Amended Job Descriptions for all City Employees. This was held from the June 16, 2009 meeting. Councilman Renegar stated that he agreed with everything in the plan with the exception of one item – it currently reads, “with the pay period beginning July 12 2009.” He requested that be removed and replaced with the statement, “with the pay period beginning October 4, 2009.” “That way it will run concurrently with the next fiscal year,” the councilman added. That amendment passed and Resolution 2 as amended passed with a unanimous vote.
Resolution 3: To Authorize and Approve a Contract with Autauga County to Provide Testing Services and Sewer Line and Lift Station Maintenance. Resolution 3 passed with a unanimous vote.
Resolution 4: To Accept Maintenance of Windrose Subdivision, Phase 3. Resolution 4 passed with a unanimous vote.
Councilman Woods brought everyone up to date about the honoring of Wilson Pickett and said that the committee has agreed to first get a historical marker at the Prattaugan Museum and hopefully later will be able to obtain some Pickett memorabilia.
Councilman Miller said that he appreciated everyone’s patience while he was acting as President Pro Tempore in Dean Argo’s absence and adjourned the meeting.
After the meeting, regarding the pay plan, Councilman Ray Boles said, “I think this is a good pay plan. It takes care of our Fire Medics and lower-end policemen. My main concern was to first wait on the new budget because no one could guarantee that we would not have to dip into the reserves to pay for it. My two main priorities are fiscal responsibility and the welfare of the employees.”
Article by Melissa Parker
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