The first ordinance provides for a 180 day moratorium on the licensing of title pawn and payday lending establishments in the city limits. According to information provided by City Manager Brian Muenger, there are currently eight such businesses within half a mile of each other on East Battle Street. The moratorium is designed to give the council time to “review this matter in detail, as it relates to the full review of the available data on the subject, as well as to explore the current zoning and land use code as it relates to the subject.”
The moratorium does not impact existing businesses, as long as they stay in the same location and under the same ownership.
Councilman Joe Ballow, who co-owns a pawn shop, initially abstained from the vote for immediate consideration of the ordinance. Under Robert’s Rules of Order, Council President Horace Patterson then had to pronounce the ordinance dead for the time being. It would have been reintroduced, without a motion for immediate consideration, at the next council meeting.
Ballow said he didn’t realize his abstention would prevent a vote on the measure, and said at the end of the meeting that he would change his vote. After following the required parliamentary procedure, the ordinance was passed by a vote of 4-0 with Ballow abstaining.
Councilman Ricky Simpson voted no on immediate consideration of another ordinance that would have surplussed three pieces of property formerly associated with the Wehadkee Dye Plant.
Simpson also said he regretted his vote against immediate consideration, changed it, and then voted against the ordinance, saying he had discussed the issue with Muenger, and wanted to make sure the property was offered to an existing business nearby that wanted to expand the square footage. Muenger said that surplussing the property was only the first step, and that any sale, trade or gift of the property must be approved by the council separately.
Muenger said he had already begun seeking appraisals on the undeveloped portions of the surplus property.
Once Simpson reversed his vote on immediate consideration, the ordinance was passed by a vote of 4-1.
Also Monday, the council:
- Toured the recently renovated fire department main station at city hall.
- Held public hearings and later approved weed abatement liens on 29 pieces of property.
- Heard presentations from the Red Door Kitchen and Cheaha Mental Health, outside agencies the council traditionally gives money to.
- Heard the second part of a presentation by Neel-Schaffer’s stormwater study. This portion dealt with the type of solutions that will ultimately be laid out in the final phases.
- Appointed Meri Jane Miller to the library board.
- Agreed not to make any new appointments to the TOP Trails Board until their audit is complete.
- Announced that a citizen board will meet with Charter Cable representatives Sept. 19 at 5:30 p.m.
- Heard Muenger announce that cleanup of the Bemiston train wreck was proceeding, with the railroad giving the city $13,000 toward the effort. Muenger said he was looking for contractors to finish the job.
- Heard interim police chief Jason Busby announce that the department had been awarded a grant worth $6,228 that would buy new digital still and video cameras, laptops and transcription equipment.
- Heard Busby report that during the reporting period surrounding Labor Day weekened, a total of 327 citizen contacts, including 58 insurance violations and 16 fugitives from justice.
- Approved a letter of credit for $257,228.54 for the ADECA Local Government Industry loan program.
- Required city employees to enroll in direct deposit.
- Approved the surveying of nine properties in Frazier Farms for $7,750.
- Approved a 5 percent increase in employee insurance costs, split evenly between the city and the employee.
- Surplussed property replaced during the Trane retrofitting project.
- Approved a contract extension with Advanced Disposal with a cost increase of less than 1 percent, or about 15 cents per month.
- Approved other contract extensions without cost increases.
- Approved 18 annual bids, with Simpson abstaining on one, R.K. Allen for gasoline.
- Approved use agreements for public parks with Talladega College, Harvest Center and Kids Gym, with Councilman Jarvis Elston abstaining on the two involving the college.
- Approved a contract for concessions with Miller’s Barbecue by 3-0, with business owner Donnie Miller abstaining, along with Simpson.
- Approved a contract with Insite Engineering for site survey, engineering and other costs not to exceed $29,750 for the Shocco Pump Station.
- Approved a $43,000 increase on cleaning and inspection of sewer lines.
- Received copies of Muenger’s proposed paving plan.
- Scheduled a budget work session for Sept. 16 at 5 p.m. Miller said he will be unable to attend.
- Heard Muenger announce that underground tank removal and soil testing had begun at the muffler shop on East Street.
- Heard Mayor Larry Barton announce that the statewide conference of the NAACP would be meeting in Talladega in October.
- Heard Barton announce that several ribbon cuttings were coming up.
- Heard Muenger report that the city’s preliminary work in Veterans Park had been completed, but the weather had delayed the contractor.
- Discussed establishing a Talladega Hall of Fame to honor people who had lived in or studied in town.
Contact Chris Norwood at email@example.com