Grant to purchase new playground equipment

City of Oneonta

Last week Mayor Richard Phillips announced the City of Oneonta was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. The grant will be used toward the purchase of new playground equipment at Woodland Park.

Construction of a new culvert on Armory Drive should begin soon. The council accepted CB&A Construction’s $170,785 bid for the replacement of the existing culvert.

The council also approved $25,000 to purchase property owned by William Garrett adjacent to the back corner of the Park and Recreation facility. The property will continue to be a buffer between the park and the residential neighborhood behind it; however, architects suggest it could be used for the maintenance facility to allow for additional parking.

After much discussion, the council voted to send a zoning ordinance relating to construction material used on the facade of buildings back to the planning commission. Council member Sherry Pierce said, “I don’t think anyone wants a city full of metal buildings, but if one looks good, I don’t have a problem with it.” She asked that the commission consider a review process for any building that will have a metal facade. The council will address the ordinance again following a review by the planning commission.

Mayor Phillips presented Blount County native and winning flag designer Bailey Scott with an official City of Oneonta flag.

In his report, Phillips said the first City Market far exceeded anyone’s expectations and the city plans to continue the event through September. The date of the next market is June 19.

“I’d like to offer an immense thank you to Rachel Gargus for making this happen,” he said.

Phillips also announced a new perk for citizen and visitors – a pop-up park providing a place for food trucks to gather from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. The pop-up park is located on the site of the city’s first pool on U.S. 231. The space features tables, canopy shades, and solar lights.

“I appreciate Barbara Andersen and the chamber of commerce for reaching out to all of our food vendors to let them know about the park,” Phillips said. “And I thank them for donating two trash cans that match the new ones downtown, as well as two planters from Blackwoods.

“This is a small space that has been sitting empty. With just a little work, it’s now a place families can come picnic or grab something to take back to the office or take home.”

In other business, the council:

• reappointed Emily Moore to the Park and Recreation Board.

• appointed Lauren Wilson to the Blount-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce Board.

• hired Delane Moon as part-time municipal court bailiff.

• hired Jessie Tidwell as part-time seasonal street department employee.

The Oneonta City Council meets the second and fourth Tuesday each month. A work session begins at 5:45 p.m. with the council meeting starting at 6 p.m.