By CHRIS WILSON
AMORY – The cleanup of unsightly properties in the city continues to be a sore spot for the board of aldermen. Another public hearing was held at the city’s regular board meeting May 19 to deal with two properties that are unkempt.
One rental property at 60030 Walls Lane that is owned by Jimmy and Linda Hurley was deemed a health hazard. the owners were given 30 days to have their cleanup complete.
A second property owned by Clayton Hogan at 905 109th Street was ordered to be cleaned up immediately and the expense billed to the property owner’s taxes.
Aldermen asked City Planner Russell Butler about property that has already been through the public hearing process and already is beyond its 30 days for cleanup.
Butler said some of them have cleaned up and some haven’t. Alderman-at-large Glen Bingham asked why the burned house on 5th Avenue has still not been cleared off. The owner had been given 30 days and the deadline has passed.
Butler said the owner of the property knows the city is about to take action on the cleanup there.
The board recommended that Butler set the public hearings closer together to get more of these lots cleaned up faster. “We keep asking the same people to clean up and we shouldn’t have to,” Ward 3 alderman Tony Poss said.
Butler pointed out that when the city’s revised zoning ordinance goes into effect soon, the city will have the ability to fine some of these people and take them to court.
The next public hearing for cleanup will be held June 16.
In other business last Tuesday, the board approved a request to rezone properties at 1510 and 1514 Hwy. 278 East from B1 to B2. The reason for the rezoning was that the owner wanted it for future business development there.
In other action, the board accepted three bids for construction of a 3,000 amp service system at the True Temper Sports building which is city-owned. The project is funded through a grant. Bids were $283,846 from Triplett Electric Co. of Louisville.; $301,508 from Jesco, Inc. and $311,650 from Southern Electric Corp.
The bids were accepted for tabulation with the contract to be awarded at the board’s next meeting.
In other business Mayor Howard Boozer asked the board to authorize the resurfacing and rebuilding of Trace Church Road. It will be widened and resurfaced at a cost of about $25,000. The board approved the project as well as the repaving of a short section of Birchwood Lane and a section of A Avenue near the cemetery and Waterway Drive.
In related discussion, the mayor reported that the board had to make a choice about whether to go ahead and repave Earl Frye Boulevard. The city was waiting for the hospital expansion project to be complete to resurface in that area. However, Boozer said that the bigger project in that vicinity that would rebuild Earl Frye Blvd. from Hwy. 278 all the way to South Main Street could possibly get federal funding. “But we won’t know if it qualifies until August,” Boozer said. If the project gets federal funding, it would not be constructed until summer 2010.
The board opted to wait until August to see if the federal funds are approved for the project.
n The board approved the hiring of Steve Bailey as a laborer at the Street Dept., Roshun Jackson at the Sanitation Dept. and Jason Humber at the Street Dept. as an equipment operator.
n Marilyn Reed was reappointed to the Housing Authority Board.
n The board passed a resolution of support of the Amory National Guard unit.
n $5,000 was approved as a contribution to United Way of Greater Monroe County. It had already been budgeted for this year.
n Ward 3 alderman Tony Poss requested that the city look at opening up an alley beside a tobacco shop on Hwy. 278 at the business owner’s request. It was estimated that it would cost the city at least $3,200 to open this alley because it has never been a road and would need a culvert. Board members expressed concerns about drainage issues in that area if a culvert is put into the ditch there. The alleyway runs perpendicular to Hwy. 278 to 7th Ave. S.
No action was taken as board members decided to go look at the area in question.
n The board asked that the chairman of the Park and Recreation Advisory Board come to the next meeting to report on the board’s members. The board has eight members and was formed in 2003.
n Cheryl Taylor was approved to work at the Amory Regional Museum in maintenance.