At city manager Ed Lowe’s request, the Oneonta City Council in last week’s meeting approved soliciting quotes from area banks for $6 million in financing to build the Wallace State permanent Oneonta Campus Center. Lowe said after the meeting that Wallace State, the Blount County Economic Development Council, which would operate a business incubator in the building, and other tenants would substantially cover the debt service on the permanent loan, by way of rent payments for the space they occupy.
In other business, the council:
• adopted ordinance 2016 06-16AE providing for the use of electronic vote counting systems in all future city elections, subject to regulations adopted by the Alabama Electronic Voting Committee; the city will use the DS2000 Scanner-Tabulator and the Automark Voter 87000 Assisted Marking Machine – the same system used by the county – to report, count, and tabulate all future election results.
• voted to lift the moratorium on manufactured homes that had been imposed in April.
• reclassified summer employee Becky Kaaa from concession worker to pool manager at the Oneonta City Pool.
• accepted the resignation of part-time police officer Luke Wiginton.
• voted to hire Rex Allred as a full-time firefighter.
• accepted the resignation of Jimmy Stewart from the Zoning Board of Adjustments; Stewart had served on the board for 14 years according to Mayor Ross Norris, who thanked him for his service.
• voted to earmark $21,000 in public safety funds toward the purchase of a software system that would provide the Oneonta Police Department with multiple access points to the same data received by calls to 911; purchase of the system – capable of expansion later to fire department vehicles – will include an annual recurring cost of $4,000.
All council members and the mayor expressed appreciation to city workers and others who worked long hours to make the June Fling successful.
Ed Lowe reported that six members of the zoning board have received notice of their recognition as certified planners. He also noted that he had been asked by some new business owners to consider imposing an hourly limit on parking time downtown.
At the end of the regular meeying, the council voted to go into executive session to discuss pending legal matters. They returned after about 25 minutes and adjourned without further action.