By Madeline Burbank
The Montevallo City Council had its first reading of the 2022-2023 fiscal budget at their Sept. 12 meeting. This budget included the Montevallo Police Department receiving $1,817,255 and American Rescue Plan Act Grant expenditures, which totaled $1,175,077.
The total proposed expenditures for the 2022-2023 fiscal year are $6,826,823.50. Voting on it will be held at the next meeting on Sept. 27.
At this meeting, the council also voted on the ongoing subject of city waste disposal. The council approved a three-year contract with Republic Services of Birmingham that will expire in Sept. 2025. Republic Services has provided Montevallo’s solid waste collection and disposal services in the past but is now working under a new contract.
With the new contract comes an increased collection cost. The council chalked the increased collection costs under the new contract to higher gas prices. Because of this, trash collection fees will be increasing from $20 to $30 for citizens. The council voted unanimously to pass this resolution with the exception of the absent Martha Eisenberg.
The council also voted to approve Alabama Power Company’s proposed monthly fee of $1,145.85 for providing electricity to city traffic cameras along with an additional $1,500 requested upfront for the installation of new break-away poles.
These new poles are meant to host 5 new FLOCK LRP Cameras along with two of them relocated from temporary locations. These traffic cameras connect to a nationwide network of cameras hosted by police departments throughout the country to capture vehicle details and compare them to suspect vehicles.
Pending Alabama Department of Transportation approval, four cameras will be placed on Highway 25 and others will be placed on County Road 15, 119 and along Spring Creek Road. The cost of this installation will come from the police budget, though it also carries a general price increase from Alabama Power.
Jeremy Littleton – the chief of the Montevallo Police Department – stated that the police department “feel that it’s vital to add five additional cameras to give us the coverage we need to make sure we’ve got the city covered” and described them as “basically like putting 15 additional officers out there looking for suspect vehicles”.
Veronica Bailey – a member of the Montevallo Historical Society – was unanimously appointed to serve on the Historic Preservation Committee following the retirement of Gregory L. Reece. Additionally, Pamela Smith was unanimously appointed to the Parks and Recreation Board.
Mayor Rusty Nix posthumously gave a proclamation award to Bishop Billy Andrew Craig – the late pastor of Green Chapel Missionary Baptist Church – after he passed away on Aug. 24.
The award was received by several members of his congregation that attended the meeting. Bishop Craig had earned a prior proclamation from the City of Montevallo under Mayor Ben McCroy in 2009.
An additional proclamation was given by Mayor Rusty Nix related to Constitution Week. Celebrating 235th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution, it will take place from Sept. 17-23.
Sarah Hogan – the executive program director of Impact Montevallo – addressed the council to ask that the City of Montevallo does not allow medical marijuana licensing, which became available on Sept. 1 after the State of Alabama state legalized medical marijuana with Alabama Senate Bill 46. She requested that if the city does allow it, they impose severe restrictions on it. Currently, eight cities and three counties have opted into allowing medical marijuana according to the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission.
Storm drains near Valley Street were cleared out and should cause less flooding during heavy rain. According to city clerk Steve Gilbert “it was less than 40% capacity” before it was cleaned out.
The next Montevallo City Council meeting will be held on Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. It will be held at the Montevallo city hall and will be live streamed on the city’s Facebook page.