Florala moving forward with bingo

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It’s “full steam ahead”in the pursuit of electronic bingo in Florala, Mayor Robert Williamson said after Monday’s council meeting.

Williamson called the controversial topic only one of the aspects of his “economic game plan” for the city of slightly less than 2,000 residents and said recent comments from Attorney General Troy King and Covington County District Attorney Greg Gambril have not deterred the city’s exploration plan.

“I can say we’re moving forward and exploring our options,” Williamson said. “To say anything else would be preemptive. Nothing has deterred our course.”

Williamson said he expected a “large contingent of pros and cons” for the night’s meeting and even passed around a sign in sheet for those wishing to be comment on electronic bingo during the public comment section of the meeting.

No one protesting attended.

Earlier this month, the city council passed an ordinance establishing rules and regulations for electronic bingo operations within the city limits.

“Our whole motivation was that we want to put some stipulations and regulations on it since the county commission hasn’t – and we want to make money on it,” he said.

“But we’re also doing other things to better Florala,” he said, speaking of the council’s Monday decision to finalize the development of a Downtown Redevelopment Authority and to reincorporate the Airport Authority.

“I think (the DRA) board now that it is put into place will begin to make a significant impact on the look of our downtown, which is just another step in that economic development game plan,” he said.

“We’ve appropriated $10,000 for the board to use to enhance the downtown.

“By re-incorporating our Airport Authority, it will allow them the chance to compete for (Federal Aviation Administration) grant funds,” he said. “So all the things we are doing are part of a complete package, of what we can do to better our city.”

In other business, the council also:

approved revisions to the mobile home ordinance which would prohibit mobile homes in commercial or industrial zoned districts.

appropriated funds for a new police repeater.

approved a five-year hazard mitigation plan.