“Too often,” Barton said, “we wait until a person dies before we say what a great job they did. You never hear the preacher saying the deceased was sorry or anything like that. So I wanted to let Mack know what a fine job he’s done while he was still here.”
Barton said he did not know Ferguson before being elected mayor, but met him for the first time around the same time he was sworn in. “It has been an honor and a privilege to have worked with you,” he said. “He is a real go-getter. I don’t know where he gets his energy from. I thought I was energetic.”
Barton said Ferguson was also well known in Birmingham and highly regarded by members of every profession.
“And he returns phone calls,” Barton said.
Ferguson, who will retire later this month, said he was honored by the proclamation presented to him by the city.
Also Monday night, the council:
• Took a funding request from the School for Excellence under advisement.
• Approved a resolution to purchase a table at the chamber banquet Jan. 16 at Shocco Springs.
• Approved an $111,000 contract for new roofs on the B.N. Mabra Center and Heritage Hall.
• Approved a contract to purchase six inch PVC pipes for the Forest Hills project from Consolidated Pipe of Birmingham for $2.88 per foot.
• Renewed the lease of space at the Spring Street Recreation Center for a gymnastics class for $350 per month plus utilities.
• Approved a grant agreement through Services for the Elderly with the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission to provide 71 meals per day to seniors at the B.N. Mabra Center. The program also delivers to 31 people who cannot get to the Mabra Center. The city also approved an expenditure of $7,181 to provide an additional 10 meals per day.
• Renewed all city insurance policies for a total cost of $324,689. According to City Clerk Beth Cheeks, this represents a 15 percent increase over last year, largely due to natural disasters statewide and increased personnel and operating expenses in city government.
• Approved $4,900 for a pressure model of the city’s water system.
• Heard Public Works Director Karen Phillips report that the state had no plans to put streetlights on the new bypass, but that permanent signage would be more reflective than what was there now.
Contact Chris Norwood at email@example.com.