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Capital improvements reviewed

Although the City of Andalusia is currently in the midst of several major projects, such as the renovation of the East Three Notch Elementary School Building into the new City Hall building, the city also has the responsibility of looking toward its long term future.

This fact is one main purpose behind the city-appointed Capital Improvements Committee, which includes Mayor Earl Johnson, and councilmen Harry Hinson, who heads the board, and Bridges Anderson.

A report from this committee was heard during the regular meeting of the Andalusia City Council Tuesday night.

Johnson said a large amount of a recent bond issue for the city was directed toward the work on the new city hall, basically around $1.3 million, but added there are still numerous capital improvement issues that must be addressed.

Hinson said the board has asked representatives of city departments such as the public works department and department of leisure services to provide recommendations on capital improvements needed to be made in their particular departments

"We put all (the recommendations) down, and eliminated some of it," said Hinson. "We are trying to stay within a $1 million (range),"

He said a major focus of the board's efforts will likely be in regard to resurfacing needs on various roads and also drainage problems, which the city has dealt with for many years.

As far as the resurfacing projects, Hinson said the city has tried to separate those needs by district.

In terms of leisure services, Hinson noted that much work needs to be done on parks and swimming pools in the city and said the city has made a commitment to deal with those issues.

Much of the board's work will also focus on the renovation of the existing city hall, which will be transformed into the new home of the Andalusia Police Department and the municipal court system once the city vacates the facility.

"A lot of renovation has to be done (in the current city hall) and we have included that in our report," said Hinson. "We have given the council (the information compiled thus far by the committee) to review."

He urged members of the council to contact him if they have any further questions.

In other business discussed at Tuesday's meeting, the Andalusia City Council:

Approved the re-appointment of Helen Hinson to the South Central Alabama Mental Health Board.

Approved an appropriation of $12,500 out of contingency for the Department of Leisure Services for the upcoming Babe Ruth Regional Tournament to be held at LBW Junior College.

Approved conveying Northside Substation property to Alabama Electric Cooperative. The property will be declared as surplus property.

Heard a presentation from Sandy Semerad of Village Profile during the workshop session regarding a possible new map for the Andalusia Chamber of Commerce.

Held public hearings for and approved several proposed rezoning actions, including properties on Hwy. 29 North. The rezoning actions had previously been approved by the Andalusia Planning Commission. The only rezoning move that was denied by the Planning Commission,

with that move being upheld by the council, involved property owned by John Ralls on the Martin Luther King Expressway in Andalusia.

Approved a vacation of a portion of Evergreen Street.

Heard from Johnson that on May 15 at 6 p.m. there will be a formal dedication ceremony of the Western Gateway sign on the Andalusia Bypass. Johnson said the public is invited to attend and the Andalusia High School band will perform at the event.

Rescheduled the next meeting, originally slated for May 20, to May 27 at 6 p.m.

Approved the minutes from the April 15 meeting.