Childersburg Council adds to demolition list
by Mark Ledbetter
With the completion of public hearings regarding a second round of demolitions, the Childersburg City Council approved a resolution adding two more properties to the list of properties to be demolished.

The city received $205,000 last year from the Community Development Block Grant to demolish structures deemed unsafe to the extent of creating a public nuisance. According to the Alabama code, properties that “cause an increase in and spread of disease and crime and are damaging and injurious to the inhabitants and general public” can qualify for demolition.

Ark Builders, Inc. received the bid for demolition and began demolition last fall.

Property owners were contacted by mail and many whose properties were scheduled to be demolished were given an opportunity to attend a public hearing to appeal the decision to include their property on the destruction list. If the property owner could show just cause, such as making significant improvements to the property or promising to make said improvements in a reasonable time, the owner either received an exemption or an extension.

Phase one of the project was recently completed and contractor Sandy Peoples has on his list to begin demolition of three structures including the old ice house on 8th Avenue, a building belonging to the Earle A. Rainwater Memorial Library on 1st Street and a structure behind Danny’s Produce.

No one was present to appeal having the properties in question removed from the list. Peoples said there would be a 10-day waiting period to allow for due process before the properties can be added to the 10 other properties on his list.

Mayor B.J. Meeks announced the fire department received a SAFER grant that will provide funds to hire additional fire personnel.

Meeks said the department has run shorthanded for some time and positions have been filled with overtime, personnel from other departments working on their off days, retirees, and some working part-time.

The $1,181,700 grant was awarded by the Department of Homeland Security under the Fiscal Year 2012 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Program, with the goal to assist the Childersburg department to “attain and maintain 24-hour staffing.”

The department has 90 days to hire firefighters, and because the grant specifies more funds are available if veterans since Sept. 11, 2001 are hired, the department will concentrate on hiring veterans. Funds will be forfeited if new hires are not made within the 90-day period.

In Childersburg Local Redevelopment Authority action, the council, serving as the authority board, approved a measure to replace a measure the board approved in their previous meeting. The measure approved an upgrade in a tractor and bush hog that would provide more versatility in maintaining industrial park properties.

In other business, the council:

• Meeks reappointed Billie Crawford to serve a five-year appointment on the Childersburg Housing Authority. Crawford’s appointment expires February 3, 2018.

• Approved magistrate Brenda Wyers’ expenses to attend the 2013 Annual Alabama Municipal Court Clerks and Magistrates Association Conference at Perdido Beach Sept. 18-21. Registration is $350 and expenses include per diem, lodging and mileage.

Contact Mark Ledbetter at
© 2013