The Scottsboro City council discussed adding seven structures to the cities list of blighted properties — the list currently includes 25 other properties in Scottsboro. This allows the city to add them to a grant received to demolish or assist in cleanup.
According to Josh Little, Scottsboro's city engineer, the bid to demolish the other properties came in under budget for the money previously allocated with allowed them to rebid and add the additional structures.
One of the structures added was 301 North Houston Street. The need for cleanup of this property was brought to the council's attention by Dr. Gary Speers during a meeting in October.
Speers had asked the council if anything could be done about the debris left on the property as he felt it detracted from the city's appearance.
Cleanup is expected to begin on the properties as early as January of 2021.
The council also discussed a resolution to approve the work completed to add a guardrail on Snodgrass Road. The project has previously been approved and paid for with the help of the Alabama Department of Transportation as part of the federally required High Risk Rural Roads program.
The program was established in 2010 and required states that had increases in their average traffic fatalities over the course of a five-year period.
Alabama established its fund in 2020 for use in 2021.
The total amount of money available to for use on safety improvements on Alabama's rural roads by local governments is roughly $4.1 million each year.
The council also discussed the City's fuel bid.
The fuel bid has been a point of controversy for the City Council since shortly after it was awarded to two different entities.
Council Member Gary Stewart has noted on several occasions an irregularity with one of the businesses which was awarded the fuel bid. He has stated that they do not have a proper emergency fuel source — this was a required stipulation during the bidding process.
Stewart informed the council that he had a signed statement from the company who was allegedly the backup fuel source stating that they were not.
The City Council president, Council Member Richard Bailey, upon the advice of the city attorney Stephen Kennamer, advised him to draft an official request of the party involved to appear before the council and explain the statements made during the bidding process.
Council Member Ralph Dawe asked if the requirement for an emergency fuel source was required to be in the bid.
In response, Kennamer noted that it was not required but was added to the bid by previous councils as a precaution.
The City Council has previously discussed removing the language which requires an emergency fuel source from the bidding process, and potentially entering into a mutual agreement with the County Commission for backup fuel.
If the vendor is found to be in violation of their contract with the city and to have lied about their emergency fuel source then the contract for the city's fuel could be revoked and they could be placed on a list of venders who are not allowed to compete during the bidding process.
According to Kennamer, the council has given this one time pay increase since the 1950s, as Christmas bonuses for city employees are not allowed in the state of Alabama.
"Since the 1950s, the city of Scottsboro has given its employees a one-time pay raise that just happens to be in the month December," said Kennamer.
The council will next meet on Nov. 23, the week before the Thanksgiving. Items from this City Council work session are likely to be considered and voted on during that meeting.