City Council discusses several issues

Several items were discussed during the recent Scottsboro City Council work session on May 6th. Council members heard from Ryan Johnson with Agape Baptist Church. Johnson requested that the property where the church is located be rezoned from M1, light manufacturing district, to E1. The Scottsboro Planning Commission previously voted unanimously to allow the change in zoning.

Scottsboro Board of Education Superintendent Amy Childress addressed council regarding the school resource officer agreement. The agreement states in part that the Scottsboro Board of Education will reimburse the City of Scottsboro $100,000 per year for partial salary expenses for the two full time school resource officers. Childress stated that this will allow the current school resource officers, Wade Patterson and Lee Benson, to remain in their positions. Childress stated, “Our current SROs know our children and have built meaningful relationships that are the very foundation of the safety and security they provide.” Childress requested that the agreement be revisited annually. “This proposal ensures that our current SRO structure remains in place, and most importantly that their time building essential relationships, knowing our kids and their families, combined with their knowledge gained from past and ongoing training is not wasted,” she went on to say. Council president Richard Bailey stated that the Scottsboro Board of Education would need to vote on and approve the proposal. Bailey went on to question, “Has there been an ethics opinion, since there is a little situation there and you would be paying part of the salary?” Childress stated that their attorney’s opinion is that the officers would remain Scottsboro City employees, not Scottsboro Board of Education employees, therefore there is no issue. The issue was placed on the May 20th city council agenda.

City Attorney Stephen Kennamer discussed the historic preservation commission/architectural review board ordinance. Kennamer stated that changes were unintentionally made to the ordinance when Municode was adopted by the city council. Kennamer proposed that since there was no intent to change the ordinance, the ordinance be returned to the 1982 ordinance.

A discussion was held regarding the moving of trucks from the fleet program to the Scottsboro Police Department. A grant in the amount of $120,000 was received by the Scottsboro Police Department to be used for vehicles. There are three F-150s rolling out of the fleet program to be placed for bid. Chief Ron Latimer proposes that the Police Department purchase the vehicles and monies be placed back into the fleet program.

Donnie Wood, Director of Scottsboro Parks and Recreation, then spoke to the council regarding several items. Wood stated that riprap and fencing is needed to complete the Bynum Parking lot upgrades. Wood requested that the item be placed for bid.

The shade replacement issue at Bynum was also discussed. Wood presented a few proposals to the council. The first was to remove the fence behind the backstops and extend the netting up about 30 feet.

Wood stated most parks are doing that. He said the cost for netting with this proposal is $142,000 and to add the brick to the backstop the proposal would total about $200,000 for all four fields.
The second proposal was to place shades at the fields. This proposal comes in at a cost of approximately $96,000. Wood suggested that prior to making a decision, the council look at redeveloping the park.

When asked by Councilman Ralph Dawe what his proposal was, Wood stated, “The shades would be easier to remove in order to redevelop the park.”

Councilwoman Nita Tolliver questioned if the shades are safe. Wood stated that it will add a layer of protection and would allow for a safer environment. Bailey suggested that members of the council decide if they would like to redo Bynum park completely, redo the four fields or add the shades and move on.

Wood stated that in the three years he has been here, four water leaks under the complex have been repaired, and one is currently needing repair and will be repaired as soon as softball and baseball season is complete. The current leak is prohibiting water usage at the Dog Park.

Councilman Mike Ashburn stated, “Four new fields is, I think, more than what we want to pay right now. I think that we just go with the shade cloth myself.”

Dawe questioned if the poles would be painted prior to adding new shade cloth. Wood stated, “We can do that. The building itself has some code issues, which is driving the idea of redeveloping the complex a little bit. We are limited on space and what we can do there.”

Tolliver said, “These are things that we went over when we had a walk through and they’ve never been checked off. They’ve never been handled.”

Wood responded, “When you say checked off, I need you to explain that. A few weeks ago you said it had never been brought up and it had been brought up in our budget meeting last August.”

Tolliver responded, “We aren’t talking about the shades, the shades have been brought up. It’s the bathrooms.”

Dawe jumped in, “It’s the list we gave you when we did the walk through.”

Bailey stated, “Even if we don’t upgrade the fields, we do have to look at the building.”

Wood then proposed 16 new pieces of equipment for the RecCom fitness center. Wood said that most equipment is in the 20-year-old range, with a few pieces that cannot be repaired. He stated, “We are desperately needing to upgrade the equipment.”

Patrick Woosley with Patrick’s Meat Market spoke to the council regarding past due sales tax and made a proposal for repayment.

Woosley stated, “I’m not saying that I don’t owe the money, because I know that I do owe the money. I’ve been down on my luck. I’ve been dealt a bad hand. I know that you have to play the hand that you’re dealt. The original agreement (to repay taxes) went haywire right off the bat. This proposal would make it right and will make it right in a quicker manner. It will make it easier on you guys and will make it easier on myself. I know that these taxes are used for educational purposes. I’m a board member of the Board of Education. This helps fund my teachers, my principals, the people I support. I’m not trying to keep money away from these guys. Like I said, I’ve fought obstacle after obstacle. I want to make it right.”

The issue was moved to an upcoming City Council meeting.

Your Community Newspaper

Local Weather

Clarion Facebook