Florala looks at walk of fame

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In light of the successful On the Square Park and veteran’s memorial project, the Florala city council discussed taking on another civic project Monday – a walk of fame.

Mayor Robert Williamson said he has toyed with the idea of honoring some of Florala’s outstanding achievers for some time and would like to see the city begin construction plans. The plan – to erect granite or bronze markers on the sidewalk or building walls outside of city hall honoring the first three selections – Rodney J. Evans, Vietnam War veteran and Medal of Honor recipient; Dwight Stone, NFL football player; and Mark Gitenstein, the current U.S. ambassador to Romania.

Williamson said he would like to see the other honorees added annually.

“I think the (veteran’s) monument is an asset to this community not only because of its aesthetics but also in the way it instills pride in Florala,” Williamson said. “I think we need to do more of these type projects in Florala. These individuals need to be recognized for them to have accomplished something on a substantial level.

“I can see this becoming a joint venture with the chamber of commerce,” he said.

The council agreed and authorized Williamson and councilman Jimmy Waldrop to begin pricing the project.

Council members also began discussions about undertaking its own garbage collection services, going so far as to assign Waldrop and councilwoman Hazel Lee with the responsibility of performing a feasibility study to determine if the cost productiveness of the venture.

“Even though we’re a year out before the end of our current (garbage collection) contract, there are several things that must happen such as determining what type of truck we need and ordering in,” Williamson said.

Currently, the city pays Allied Waste Management Inc. $108,000 annually for garbage collection services.&

In other business, the council:

• voted to place directional lighting on the new On the Square Park and veteran’s memorial.

• voted to repair a ditch next to the RV park.

• voted to construct a new boat pier near the city boat launch using FEMA funds remaining from a previous pier project, pending Corp of Engineer’s approval on the project.

• signed a letter of intent to donate city property to Habitat for Humanity.

• approved a monetary donation to the Southeast Alabama Mental Health Board, equal to the amount donated last year. That dollar figure was not immediately available, but council members believed it was in the neighborhood of $300-$500.

• discussed determining the priority number of road paving projects in the city.