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Council discusses several topics to start 2023

By Leigh Anne Butler

The City of Tallassee held its first city council meeting of the new year on Jan. 10. Notable items that were discussed included the demolition of the Hotel Talisi, the Benjamin Fitzpatrick Bridge paining project and changes regarding the city’s debris pickup.

The city council voted to amend the City Development Block Grant (CDBG). The grant money will now be used to continue the demolition and clearing of dilapidated buildings around the city rather than use the funds to demolish the Hotel Talisi. When the council was asked by a member of the audience if the city had funds to demolish the Hotel Talisi, the answer was yes.

Since the city’s engineer was not present at the meeting, the discussion of the demolition of the Hotel Talisi was tabled until the next regularly scheduled council meeting.

Mayor Sarah Hill stated, “We are interested in going ahead and taking that (Hotel Talisi) down with city funds.”

The Benjamin Fitzpatrick Bridge repair/repainting project is slated to begin Feb. 14. The State of Alabama will close one lane permanently for approximately six months for repairs and repainting to take place. The lane closure will be 24 hours a day. To aid with traffic flow, the state will place temporary traffic lights at each end of the bridge that will be synced with a time delay for traffic control. The current red lights at the Tallassee Library and the Tallassee Police Station will be changed to a flashing caution light during the construction period. 

An ordinance regarding debris pickup was tabled until the next council meeting. Until then, the mayor and city council agreed for the city’s street department to begin cleaning up the city by picking up furniture, mattresses and trash, along with leaves and yard debris.

“Things had gotten out-of-hand with people dumping stuff throughout the city,” Ward 4 councilman Bill Hall noted in an email sent out to his constituents. “One caveat to this is that when the city attorney finishes rewriting the ordinance on debris, there will be a small charge applied to every utility account within the city limits.”

Hall also stressed that leaves must still be bagged for them to be picked up by the city’s debris truck.  

The city council also recognized the water treatment plant and public works departments for an outstanding job during the extreme cold weather conditions during the Christmas holiday. Bob Reid and JaHazel Hooks were appointed to the Library Board. It was also mentioned that the Tallassee Redevelopment Authority has two vacant positions that need to be filled.

Alabama’s Severe Weather Preparedness Tax Holiday is set for Feb. 24-26. During this period, shoppers have the opportunity to purchase certain severe weather preparedness items free of state sales tax. The council also approved the purchase of Tallassee Police Department SRO trucks and approved the Tallassee Fire Department permission to submit a grant application for AFG-SCBA packs, a firehose and a brush truck.

The next City of Tallassee regularly scheduled meeting is Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.