Albany City Council held a short first of the year regular meeting last Tuesday, January 3 with all council members present, but again in the absence of Mayor Nicky Smith, who is continuing to recover from recent heart surgery.
The council welcomed a new member, Carl Ferguson, who was elected last November to fill the seat previously held by Brad Thrasher, who did not seek re-election. All five other members that make up the city council are returning members.
Although mayor Smith was not absent, he did pass along a thank you to all city employees “for their dedication and hard work in the (food and toy) drive, as well as those who gave or contributed in any way.”
The mayor also welcomed new member Ferguson as well as returning members, saying he looked forward to working with each of them for the next two years.
The only actual vote taken during the brief meeting, other than adjournment, was approval of previous meeting minutes.
The council did have discussion on some issues, however, including the need to have a mud slide problem on Spring Street behind Talbott Funeral Home and Albany United Church of the Nazarene repaired, possibly by placing rocks along the bank where water washes mud onto the street.
There was no update on the Bald Rock water tank project, which has been approved by the state for some months now. City Clerk Melissa Smith did note the city had found one funding source to help pay for the project, which has been estimated to cost around $50,000.
Council members also discussed there several compliments on the new, brighter street lights installed throughout the city, but noted a request for such new lighting to be put around the area of Columbia Avenue and Clinton Street in south Albany.
Council members also recommended that old, dysfunctional fire hydrants in some areas in the city limits be replaced and Albany Police Chief Ernest Guffey also commented at the meeting that the Christmas and New Year’s holidays around the city had been relatively peaceful.
The next regular meeting of Albany City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, February 7 at 5 p.m. at city hall and is open to the public.