Temporary moratorium on metal-facade buildings

City of Oneonta

The Oneonta City Council held two work sessions prior to their business meeting last Tuesday. At 5 p.m. the council heard from the president of Alabama Grocery Association and David Langham with Frazier Lanier regarding possibilities of an additional grocery store. According to the president of AGA, Oneonta is not in a strong position for a new grocery store due to current demographics and Oneonta not being considered a “food desert,” which is an area with no grocery store within 10 miles. If the City of Oneonta wants to attract a new grocery retailer, both guests agreed that it would require a multi-million dollar endeavor initiated by the city.

At 5:45 p.m. the council discussed agenda items and at 6 p.m. Mayor Richard Phillips called the business meeting to order. The council approved a capital request from the Oneonta Fire Department. The request, according to Chief Kenneth Booth, includes cutting, lighting, and ventilation equipment for the department’s new ladder truck. The dedication of the new ladder truck followed the council meeting.

The Armory Drive repair project made headway when the council approved to start the bid process. Brandon Horton addressed the council and explained that there will be two options for repair, pre-cast culverts or poured culverts. Pre-cast culverts will save time but are more expensive. Poured culverts could take a few weeks longer to cure depending on the weather. Determining which will be utilized will depend on the bidding process and recommendations from the engineer.

The council also approved a temporary moratorium on the construction of commercial buildings with metal facades. Phillips explained that it is imperative that the city be involved in the development of retail and commercial spaces. “We are at a pivotal point in our growth, and we have to be cognizant of how our community progresses,” Phillips said. The temporary moratorium simply puts a hold on issuing business permits to buildings with metal facades until an amendment can be recommended by the Planning Commission. “I anticipate the amendment to require the front of all structures to be covered in some sort of material other than metal, like brick, stone, or even types of siding.”

In other business, the council:

• accepted the retirement of fulltime municipal court clerk/magistrate Glenda Reed.

• approved advertising for the fulltime municipal court clerk/magistrate position.

• approved advertising for part-time municipal court bailiff to relieve Oneonta Police officers from acting as bailiff and remain on patrol.

The Oneonta City Council meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. A work session is held at 5:45 p.m. with the business meeting beginning at 6 p.m.