By Jacinta Huff,
Student Intern Reporter
The Eutaw City Council held its regular meeting Tuesday night at the City Hall. Jill Hannah, Technical Specialist from the West Alabama Regional Planning Commission reviewed the city’s redistricting plan which will be used in the upcoming August 28 Municipal Election.
Hannah, standing in front of a large colored map of the districts, informed local residents of the revisions in the five voting districts in Greene County. The changes were based on population figures from the 2010 Census. Based on the City’s total population of 2,934, each district ideally should have 587 residents. The actual number can deviate by 5% from 557 to 617 per district.
Because of population shifts in Eutaw, the Council had to approve a redistricting plan based on the most recent Census. The numbers in each district reflect total population, not voting age residents or registered voters, in each district.
Hannah indicated that the City’s redistricting plan was pre-cleared by the U. S. Justice Department and was ready to be used in the upcoming elections. Candidates and the press posed questions to Ms. Hannah on the plan which she was able to answer.
Council member Sheila H. Smith asked Mayor Steele when he was going to nominate people for the newly approved Eutaw Airport Authority. The Council approved an Airport Authority with seven members, at least four of whom must be pilots or have aviation experience. The Mayor must recommend the members for the Authority for approval by the Council.
Councilwoman Smith pointed out that the Airport Authority needs to be in place to submit a grant to state and federal sources by October to improve the airport and get it open for use by business and commercial interests.
Mayor Steele said he was thinking about his choices of persons to nominate for the Airport Authority and would “not be rushed into a decision by the Council.”
In other business, the City Council:
*Voted to approve $3,739.20 toward the purchase of an emergency generator, recommended by Hodges Smith, Greene County Homeland Security administrator. This amount, paid out of the City’s Capital Improvement Fund, was required by a change in the electrical wiring for the generator, which will be used to operate the pumps for the city water system in case of an emergency power outage.* After a 25 minute Executive Session, voted to appoint Mary Snoddy as temporary City Clerk to replace Peggy Stripling, who sent a letter saying her health would not allow her to preside over the municipal election. Snoddy has been working in this capacity since a special called meeting on August 6. She has approved the City voters list and prepared a list of polling officials for the August 28 election. These lists are published in this week’s edition of the Greene County Democrat.
*Approved payment for poll inspectors at $125 a day and poll workers at $100 a day for the municipal election.
*Approved agreement for Attorney Ken Aycock, a city resident, to deal with legal issues relating to the elections. Aycock is volunteering his services for this purpose.
*Agreed to pay $76,000 to USDA Rural Development for city police cars, which is the balance due on a loan/grant provided by the agency for this purpose.
*Reviewed bills and finances. Councilman Joe L. Powell stated that because of the overtime of the police department, Eutaw could possibly go over budget. The solution to this would be cutting back the hours of the policemen of the city. Councilman Liverman pointed out that based on total expenses for the nine month period, the city was not over budget in its police and personnel expenses. He suggested overtime was used when positions were not filled.
*Mayor Steele suggested a new set of air conditioning units in City Hall may be needed to replace the old unit. He did not have the proposal ready to present.
*The next City Council meeting scheduled for August 28, 2012 has been canceled. That is the same day as the elections. The Council will need to meet on September 7 to certify the election results.
*Heard from various citizens about street repairs and improvements needed.
Weather for Eutaw, Ala. Tuesday Wednesday ThursdayPartly Cloudy90/70Chance of a Thunderstorm81/68Chance of a Thunderstorm86/66
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