Is the third time a charm? The Piedmont City Council thinks so, voting 4-3 to no longer pursue a contract with Jacksonville State University to conduct an analysis of the city’s finances. This comes after 2 previous votes on the matter. On July 1th, the council voted in favor of the JSU study, only to decide against it in the July 15th meeting.
Council Member Terry Kisor, who most recently voted in favor of the analysis, saying that “At that time, I thought it was a good idea,” called on the council to reconsider. While Kisor thought the study may be needed in the future, he added “Right now, the funds are just not there.” Council Members Mary Bramblett, Ben Keller, and Kenny Kelley agreed. The study, which some say would provide invaluable information, allowing the council to better manage the city, would cost an estimated $14,000.
The council voted to pay $44,432, taken from the city’s fire tax fund, to purchase the first 8 of the 22 needed air packs for the fire department. The city would then be reimbursed upon receiving a FEMA grant within a week. Additionally, the council agreed to purchase the remaining 14 air packs and with fire tax monies instead of financing a loan with 4% interest as had been discussed.
Bills for payment were approved in the amount of $482,279.27 in addition to a payroll amount of $181,488.28 for a total of $663,727.55, with Council Member Brenda Spears abstaining.
At the request of representatives from Pemco and Industrial Resin Recycling, the council voted to strengthen a bridge on the Old Piedmont-Gadsden Highway near the warehouse currently occupied by the companies. The bridge is sure to see an increase in heavy truck traffic, with the Piedmont warehouse soon becoming Pemco’s southeast United Sates distribution center, according to Shipping Manager Jeff Bass.
Representatives from Joan Sanders & Associates presented the council with the recently completed audit for 2013, finding no major issues in the city’s financial records.
The council passed a resolution extending Ray Alley in order to provide better access for the maintenance of a water tank.
After exhausting every legal avenue, the council voted to abate homes at 105 Eubanks Avenue and 116 Seaboard Avenue.
The next regular Piedmont City Council Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 19th, at 6 pm.