City council has busy meeting

Posted September 12, 2018 at 12:46 pm

Albany City Council held a busier than usual regular meeting last Tuesday, September 4 with five of six council members present.

Mayor Nicky Smith reminded council members and others present at the meeting of the second annual “All For Benny” gala coming up this coming Saturday evening September 15 on the Albany square.

Residents representing a proposal for a Westview Subdivision at Leslie Way,were also present at the meeting, with Jim Delk acting as spokesperson for the group.

Delk said the property in question is located behind the Albany Elementary School, near what is known to most as the Cherry Lane area and contains approximately 20 acres of land, which is currently farmland.

However, the group is planning on developing the property–which is mostly in the county–into a subdivision to construct new homes and requested a gate be erected to the property to keep out trespassers and close off the property while the development is taking place.

It was noted that the area in question makes a “loop” that comes out at Third Street and the gate, which would be in the city, would not block or hinder traffic flow to the general public or property owners.

The developers noted that putting up the gate to keep out the public would cut out the trash that is being thrown onto the property, among other problems. “We don’t mind walkers, but there is no need for vehicles and people who throw their garbage out to be on the property,” Delk told the council.

Albany Police Officer Jeremy Ferguson also noted he has to patrol the area often and has encountered some drug related activity that goes on there.

All council members agreed that a gate should be erected to keep out vehicle traffic to the property and city legal advisor Norb Sohm, although agreeing, noted the city should first look into all the legalities and then take action.

A motion by council member Tony Delk to proceed with researching the option of closing off the property and erecting a gate passed by unanimous vote.

Long-time city water department employee Pam Allred then announced to the council that she would be retiring effective September 27, after some 34 years with the city.

She thanked the mayor, council and fellow employees for their friendship over the years and noted she had worked under five administrations (mayors), at least four city attorneys and several council members.

Allred also told council members, most which are seeking re-election, that she is herself a candidate for a seat on the council and due to her owning WANY radio, under law, all her opponents have the right to free advertising on that station.

The council then approved a KIA Fund B resolution pertaining to funding for the Marina at Rowena water line project.

Following an approximate 15-minute closed session on personnel in which no action was taken, the council discussed some city street issues, including having some speed bumps removed from some streets and paving and repairs to others, as well as street striping in subdivision areas.

Councilwoman Tonya Thrasher also reminded the council that Saturday, October 6 would be the now annual Fall Cleanup from 9-11 a.m., or until the work is done. Anyone who would like to volunteer to help on cleaning the downtown area may contact Thrasher or call city hall at 387-6011.

The next regular meeting of Albany City Council is scheduled for October 2 at 5 p.m.