Oneonta renews taxes, hears from concerned citizen

Meeting state requirements, the Oneonta City Council renewed its present taxes following notification by Revenue Commissioner Chris Green. Mayor Darryl Ray explained that Green had contacted his office to remind the mayor that the city needed to renew its present property taxes by May of each year, in order to have the county collect those. Councilors voted unanimously to do so.

Sand Valley resident Emma Fowler spoke in opposition to a batteredwomen’s shelter proposed for her community. She indicated that Hope House director Bud Jones has explored the idea of providing a shelter in a motel in the valley. She proclaimed, “We don’t need Bud Jones nor any of his enterprises.”

Fowler read portions of Emma Lazarus’s famous lines on the Statue of Liberty but refuted the call to send the poor. Fowler held that the valley has enough of its own poor. She also noted that the many elderly in the community would have a hard time adjusting to the influx of others so different from them.

Council members approved a community development block grant (CDBG) application for a matching $347,000 to improve the city’s sewer system. Although the funds, if approved, will come from the Oneonta Utilities Board, the city must make the application and promise to oversee its operation. Councilors Ross Norris, who works with the utilities board, and Tim McNair, of Alabama Power, followed their usual practice of abstaining on matters related to utilities.

Kathy Young of the city beautification board announced monthly awards. The board named Greg Long for residential recognition and Pete Shirley Tire for commercial. Ray announced that Gary and Carol Reid were recipients of yard of the month at Heritage.

Councilors complemented Richard Spraggins in their closing remarks. Spraggins had resigned his position with the city planning commission, following his retirement as county engineer. Having accepted another position, Spraggins’s letter explained he would frequently be out of town and felt he could no longer meet his responsibilities. He indicated in his letter that he had served on various city boards for more than 30 years.

Councilmen Hal Buckelew, Mark Gargus, and Danny Robinson joined Ray, Norris, and McNair for the May 8 meeting. The council holds its regular sessions the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 5:30 p.m. in city hall.