History made in Andalusia Tuesday

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 29, 2004

The Andalusia City Council held its first meeting at its new home, the former East Three Notch School auditorium, Tuesday night.

"This is a historic meeting," Mayor Earl Johnson said.

Sidney Waits, Jr., a local historian, enlightened the council and audience on background information of the building, which was originally built in 1914.

"Today is a historic day in the City of Andalusia," Waits said. "This is truly the beginning of a new era, and it marks the beginning of an era to preserve an old building. This is the first time it was preserved.

"The mayor and council have worked together in our community to get things done," he continued. "And they have gotten things done. More things have happened and more progress has been made in the last few years than any time I can remember."

Waits added the city has a "completely new look."

"The city has gotten another jewel along (East) Three Notch," he said.

Waits talked about previous mayors and the "story" of the renovated building.

"The school (at the time) was bursting at the seams, and the superintendent at the time advised there should be a new school," he said. "So bonds were issued, and they built this building (then-East Three Notch Elementary School) in 1914. It housed all eleven grades of school, and it was built at a cost of $100,000.

"It was a school until 2000," he continued. "I'm sure there are some people who (went to school here) in the audience."

Waits concluded by congratulating the mayor and council for their "vision," hard work, and determination of the restoration.

"Imagine the vision our forefathers had in 1914," Johnson replied. "That tells you a little bit about how far we have come."

The council presented a proclamation to the Andalusia City School Board for the use and donation of their facility, East Three Notch Elementary, as the new City Hall. The council unanimously adopted the resolution of appreciation to the school board.

The Covington Historical Society also presented the council with a certificate of appreciation for their involvement in the restoration of an old building.

"It is my pleasure to award (the certificate) to the council," said Sue Wilson, president of the historical society. "You have made it possible for this historic site to be used by upcoming generations in the Andalusia City Hall. This landmark will continue to stand as a symbol of commitment for future growth and prosperity."

In city business, the council adopted a resolution to declare four (city) vehicles surplus, and to sell them at an auction.

The council, by law, denied a request for contributions to the Covington County Double C 4-H Club, according to Johnson.

"Unfortunately, the city can't make contributions of this nature, because under law we are not permitted to make donations to any private organizations that don't provide any public service," he said.

Johnson announced a green turn light will be added in the next couple of weeks to the new traffic light at the intersection of East Three Notch Street and Sixth Avenue, in front of City Hall.

"Right now, the light stays green for about 20 seconds facing Sixth Avenue, and it stays green for 30 seconds facing East Three Notch," Johnson said. "The reason for that is the construction we (currently) have going on out there."

Andalusia Police Chief Wilbur Williams gave a presentation on the renovations of the old City Hall, now all part of the Andalusia Police Department.

"Basically, all we did was re-carpet the utilities part," Williams said. "But (our officers) now have room to work that they never had before."