By Cady Inabinett, News editor
Montevallo’s city council unanimously approved the allocation of $17,400 of Montevallo Development Cooperative District funds for restoration work along the creek bank in Orr Park at their May 23 meeting.
City Clerk Steve Gilbert said that flooding from the creek over the past few years has taken a toll on the stonework present on the creek’s banks, prompting the need for this project. He also said that Landscape Additions of Central Alabama, LLC was the only company that submitted a bid for the project.
The funds for the project will be drawn from MDCD’s Unallocated Fund and were approved by that group at their May 16 meeting.
Mayor Rusty Nix called the restoration work a necessary project in order to protect the investments the city has made in park, saying that there’s been over $100,000 of city money invested in the area.
The council approved another project drawing from the MDCD Unallocated Fund as well. The second project allotted $20,045 for paving repairs on Pineview Road and Hidden Trace Court.
Gilbert reported that engineers have said that there’s a problem with the pavement’s subgrade in these two areas, leading to a problem he called alligatoring—where the asphalt fractures into small pieces which, “looks kind of like alligator hide.”
Nix urged the council to take action on this issue, saying, “The asphalt is starting to peel up there. If we don’t do something pretty quick, we’ll wind up with just huge potholes.”
The project was unanimously approved, and the repairs will be made by Glenn Contracting & Paving Company, Inc.
Additionally, the council approved the use of $34,330.50 of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act funds to purchase 15 Dell Latitude laptops for use by the Montevallo Police Department. Montevallo police chief Jeremy Littleton spoke to the council about the department’s need to replace old laptops in their vehicles and assured the qualities of these replacements, saying that they’re the same type that state troopers use in their patrol cars. The expenditure was unanimously approved by the council.
The council also unanimously approved the city’s participation in the 2022 Back to School Sales Tax Holiday. The holiday will place from July 15-17. During this time, certain items, mainly school supplies, will the exempted from sales tax.
Rezoning was also a point of discussion at the meeting. The council voted unanimously to establish an agricultural residential district zone in the Heritage Trace subdivision. Additionally, a public hearing was held during the meeting as well regarding a different rezoning request. This request seeks to create a special district zone at 270 Gardner Street, which is currently zoned in a single-family dwelling district. The owners of the property are seeking to establish a parking lot for recreational vehicles, which requires a change in zoning.
No one was present to speak on behalf of the owners at the public hearing. Nobody spoke in opposition either. Council member Kenny Dukes did mention that he had spoken to a few people who lived in the area to see if the project would be problematic. He said that residents didn’t like that there was a spacious, empty lot in the area and that, “they’re kind of in favor for something.”
The council waived vendor’s fees for two different upcoming events. The first event is the Montevallo Farmer’s Market, which will be held on Mondays from June 6 until August 15. The second is a voting education seminar held by the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP in Orr Park on June 25.
The future of Montevallo’s trash service was another point of discussion for the council. The city’s contract with Republic Services, the current trash contractor, will expire at the end of September.
Nix emphasized the likely increase in cost for services, saying, “With everything else, I’m sure it’s going to be a lot more than what we’re paying now.”
Dukes shared this sentiment, saying that Montevallo residents should view this a necessary cost.
“I think everyone should understand this is not something that we’re doing,” said Dukes. “This is something that has to be done in order for them to have their garbage and all that picked up.”
Gilbert shared that curbside recycling services are likely to be added to the city’s waste disposal services as well. He said the city is aiming for weekly trash collection with biweekly recycling services.
Nix made a proclamation honoring the life of Rev. Dr. Albert L. Jones, highlighting the contributions Jones made to the Montevallo community. Jones was one of the first African American police deputies for the city. Additionally, he served as the senior pastor of Mount Olive Baptist Church in Wilton for 47 years. Jones passed away on May 5.
The next City Council meeting will be held Monday, June 13, at 6 p.m. The meeting will be livestreamed on the city’s Facebook page. Citizens may also attend the meeting in person at City Hall.