Albany City Council, meeting in regular session last Tuesday, May 7, took up some major issues, including the 2013-14 fiscal year budget and a decision to increase fire membership dues. A story on the latter appears on page 1 in a separate article. All members were present for the meeting.
Albany Mayor Nicky Smith opened the session by giving a brief update from the city engineers, saying that only one tie-in was needed to be done in the southern section of the 127 Bypass to complete the utility relocation project.
Betty Upchurch then addressed the council about a mobile home and lot on property she owns, saying a relative who had children was wanting to set up a mobile home there. However, Eric Smith, a city employee, had checked the property thoroughly and said that under current city ordinances pertaining to the amount of land needed for a home, there wasn’t enough space.
Upchurch then said she had some other property across the street that contained about an acre of property and asked if that would be sufficient. Smith said that should provide plenty of space to place the home and agreed to look at the site and try and resolve the situation.
The council then approved second and final reading of an ordinance to annex approximately 1.9 miles of roadway along the 127 Bypass. The area, which would apparently not affect any property owners, would begin around the Clinton County Hospital on Hwy. 1590 for about a half-mile and then from the stop light, take a northerly direction for about 1.4 miles on new 127 to behind Clinton County Middle School.
(A copy of the Ordinance is published elsewhere in this week’s Clinton County News.)
A motion to approve second reading was made by Councilman Leland Hicks, seconded by Councilman James “Smitty” Smith and passed by unanimous vote.
Mayor Smith also reviewed the proposed 2013-14 FY city budget with council members. The total budget is $4,443,331. This is about $700,000 above the current year’s budget, but $600,000 of the increase is in the form of grants. Also, a total of $2.7 million is in the area of the water and/or sewer and waste water treatment facilities.
The mayor also noted the budget contained a minimal increase in pay to city employees, saying, “not as much as they deserve,” but all the city could afford.
Councilman Frankie Stockton made the motion to approve first reading of the budget, which passed by unanimous vote.
The council will have the opportunity to review the document in its entirety and recommend any changes they feel necessary prior to final reading in June.
Councilman Smith also said recently he had seen a car take a “left hand” turn from Albany Post Office onto Cross Street, which is a one-way street, and asked if there was enough signs posted in the area to direct out-of-town travelers that the street is one-way. It was noted that there was already a one-way street sign at the stop sign that goes onto Cross Street.
The council also again discussed making some street repairs and Mayor Smith commended the police and fire department and all first responders for their prompt and professional actions taken during a recent explosion in south Albany that critically injured a local man who was working on the tank when it exploded.
The next regular meeting of Albany City Council is scheduled for June 4 at 5 p.m. at city hall and is open to the general public.