The Oneonta City Council voted to declare Oct. 16 “Agnes Stockdale Hodge Day” in recognition of the 99 year-old retired educator. Hodge, a graduate of Alabama State University, taught in the Oneonta City School system over 30 years, first at Southside School and later at Oneonta Elementary School.
Members then expressed appreciation to employee Felipe Vargas and former board member Henry Auth. Vargas has received certification as a magistrate to assist the city municipal court. Auth declined reappointment to the city zoning board of adjustments after 19 years of service in that capacity.
In other personnel matters, the council reappointed Andy Alexander and Anthony Brewer as city representatives to the Blount County-Oneonta Agri- Business Center Board of Directors.
In his report, Oneonta city manager/ economic development officer Ed Lowe advised the council of increased liability insurance premiums. The nearly $3,500 increase reflects, among other matters, the addition of the present Wallace State campus valued at $1.3 million by Lowe. The full premium amount rises to $168,530.
Lowe also reported that owners of the new Swamp Tails restaurant have asked for replacement of the brick pavers in the sidewalk adjacent to its location. According to Lowe, shifting ground has left the pavers uneven. He expressed a preference for a stamped concrete replacement, which might also be placed at other locations in the town.
Beyond the paver replacement, Lowe also announced that the city plans to partner with the Wallace State Horticulture Department to design plantings in the city. In some cases, these may replace present corner renderings.
Beautification chair Marlene Stroud addressed the council, thanking members for continuing appropriations to her board in their just approved budget. As requested, she explained how the board has functioned and used funds in previous years.
Councilman Mark Gargus reported completion of public bathrooms at the city’s main recreation park. Members voted to hold the next regular quadrennial organizational meeting at 6 p.m. on Nov. 7 at city hall.
The council recessed into executive session to discuss pending legal matters, expressing no intention of conducting any other business before its official adjournment. Councilor Tonya Rogers missed the Oct. 11 session, attended by Mayor Ross Norris and remaining council members Gargus, Hal Blackwood, Tim McNair, and Danny Robinson.
The council holds its regular sessions the second and fourth Tuesdays at 5 p.m. in city hall.