Jemison decides against beautification project

Published 10:15 pm Monday, April 18, 2011

Finances dominated conversation at Monday’s meeting of the Jemison City Council.

The council declined to spend money on two agenda items—in one case, despite the objection of one council member—but did give $500 to Jemison High School’s archery team, which in its first year of existence is traveling to a state competition April 21 with the chance to advance to a national competition next month in Louisville, Ky.

Rejected, meanwhile, were items to donate $250 to the annual Peach Jam Jubilee in Clanton and a more expensive measure to purchase flowers and related supplies from Cindy’s Nursery as part of what had been an annual effort to spruce up the city in the spring.

According to discussion at the regularly scheduled meeting, the business ordered the goods under the assumption the city would offer reimbursement, as it had in previous years.

But Mayor Eddie Reed and other council members said confirmation was needed from the council before any order should have been placed—and that the consensus among council members present at a previous work session was that the project should be cut from the city’s budget because of financial woes.

“A budget is made as a guide; we can always go back and take things out or add things in,” Reed said. “No one on this council is against the flowers, but it’s about what is necessary for the city of Jemison.”

But Councilwoman Faye King disagreed, saying the business owner called the Municipal Complex before an order was placed and that a city official instructed city workers to take several large concrete planters to the business in anticipation of being filled with flowers then placed around town.

“It would be different if it hadn’t been city workers that took the pots over there,” King said. “We need to pay the lady her money; that’s my feelings.”

King wanted the council to either go through with the project, which would have cost $3,626.50 up front in addition to expenses necessary to the plants’ upkeep, or to reimburse the business for materials that could not be resold, totaling $2,595.76.

Council members also expressed concern over what they would do with the flowers if purchased but without the rest of the needed supplies to complete the project.

The council voted 5-1 to not pay the business, with King the lone dissenter.

The matter was first brought up at the council’s last meeting, on April 4. At Monday’s meeting, the minutes were corrected to show that Councilman Robert Morris moved to table the discussion until this week’s meeting.

In other business, the council:

•Announced that this week is the city’s annual Clean Up Week, when residents can leave beside the road for pick up items garbage crews wouldn’t normally handle.

•Announced that a state Department of Transportation public hearing on the proposed improvement to the intersection of Hwy. 31 and Hwy. 191 would be held from 5-7 p.m. on May 3 at the Municipal Complex.

•Decided the city would participate in National Day of Prayer on May 5.