City to spend $125,000 on water plant
by Chris Norwood
TALLADEGA — The City Council voted unanimously Thursday night to spend $125,275 to replace the flocculators in the second basin at the surface water treatment plant.

A flocculator is a device used to filter out dirt and other contaminants from water before it is treated. Schmidt Environmental of Auburn won the contract.

The floculator in basin one was replaced last year.

The project approved Thursday evening involves replacement of all sprockets, bearings and drive chains, as well as sandblasting, painting and priming of the remaining parts of the system. The redwood baffles will have to be reconstructed and the construction of handrails and repair or replacement of concrete will also be included in the project.

The council also heard a report from City Manager Brian Muenger regarding a discussion with Revenue Commissioner Sally Flowers regarding property owners who had been annexed into the city some 15 years ago had not been paying city property taxes because they were not coded properly. State law allows collection of up to five years of taxes owed.

Muenger said the majority of affected residents were paid in full. All had paid at least some, and a payment schedule is allowed, providing that the owner pay one full year’s back taxes at a time. Interest and penalties can continue to accrue on the unpaid balance.

Owners who have not paid up by next month will be advertised as delinquent, and tax auctions could go forward in April or May.

Also Thursday night, the council:

• Heard Muenger announce a tree will be planted near the police station at 10 a.m. on Monday in honor of Arbor Day. A proclamation naming today Arbor Day was also approved.

• Approved a resolution deeming February Black History Month in Talladega.

• Approved 13 weed abatements.

• Appointed former Councilman Jimmy Davis to the Library Board.

• Heard Muenger report that he had met with Sen. Richard Shelby and staff members for Sen. Jeff Sessions and Rep. Mike Rogers in Washington, D.C., primarily about funding for improving railroad crossings.

• Applied for a grant for $7,500 from the Alabama Historical Commission for design standards for the square. There are already standards for the Silk Stocking District. The local match would be $2,500.

• Approved a contract for $33,420 with Davis Builders to renovate the façade of the Kenwin Building. The Pilgrimage Committee is also contributing to this project.

• Approved a $41,490 contract with Clements Dean to renovate Fire Station One at City Hall. This project and the Kenwin building are both part of the city’s capital improvement program for the year.

• Heard Muenger announce renovations to the roof of Heritage Hall were almost complete, and the contractor would be moving on to the Mabra Center next.

• Heard Muenger announce a representative of Trane would likely address the council on a conservation program next month.

• Heard Mayor Larry Barton announce that a Talladega College student was competing in College Jeopardy, that attorney Buddy Campbell had bought the old Braswell’s Building and that Gospel artist Alvin Slaughter would be performing at the college this weekend. Barton also announced that Boy Scout dinner would be the first Saturday in March.

• Heard Barton read a letter complimenting the city from a recent visitor.

• Heard Councilman Horace Patterson ask Muenger to look into scheduling employee recognition for the year.

• Heard Public Works Director Karen Phillips announce signage would be up on the 275 Bypass by March 1.

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© 2013