City adds land and personnel

Oneonta voted to annex land along Ebell Road at the request of local land holder K&B Properties. The city accepted the request declaring the addition, adjacent to current city limits, “in the city’s public interest.” Council members also approved the hiring of John Joshua Davidson, Ronald Vernarr Hughes, Josh Keith Snyder, Matthew Suddeth, and Nathan Patrick Trimble as part-time police officers. All five have served as reserves with the department.

In other personnel matters the council voted to advertise for a full-time circulation librarian. Ricky Statham, who was promoted from that position to library director, noted the title a bit misleading as the position will actually deal primarily with library programming. Members also approved the employee 2017 holiday schedule corresponding with state and county calendars.

City manager Ed Lowe reported resolution with one of the family’s holding property adjacent to the city’s airport. That settlement will permit the city to move forward in correcting part of the encroachment issues which have plagued the city in recent months. The city had approved a grant request to help address the issue.

Lowe also advised the approval by the Alabama Department of Transportation for plans to construct an entrance to the property acquired north of the city in December of 2105. The approved access extends beyond County Road 39 across Ala 75. City workers will perform part of that work. He also announced expressed interest in purchase of a portion of that property, following his reported sale of some adjacent land.

Fire chief Arthur Willis expressed appreciation to his department, nearby and distant departments, as well as state forestry officers for help in battling the two fires earlier in the month. Those fires covered approximately 460 acres in the Sand Valley and Seven Bark Road areas. Willis added his gratitude to local citizens who provided equipment and refreshments to the hard-working firefighters who battled the blazes. He also noted that the willingness of the city to allow its department to assist in nearby communities was returned by help received from these volunteer groups.

Councilors recessed into executive session for a litigation update, promising no further action after that session. All members, Mayor Ross Norris and councilors Hal Blackwood, Nathaniel Butler, Richard Phillips, Danny Robinson, and Tonya Rogers, attended the Nov. 22 meeting. The council holds its regular sessions the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 5:30 p.m. in city hall.