Florala rec supporters urged to attend county meeting

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Florala recreation – specifically the need for support at the next county commission meeting – dominated Monday’s city council meeting.

Mayor Robert Williamson urged those supporting equitable recreation funding for the city to “give a show of support” at the Mon., Aug. 30, commission meeting.

Williamson and Opp Mayor H.D. Edgar have spoken out about the need for fair funding if the commission votes to participate with the city of Andalusia in the renovation of Johnson Park. Cost for the project, which would add new fields to the complex, is estimated at $1.5 million. Under the joint county/city agreement, the county would pay the city $45,000 to $49,500 annually for the first 15 years with an option to renew the contract for an additional 15 years, when the sliding scale payment would range from $51,750 to $56,250 annually.

Both Williamson and Edgar have requested in-kind financial compensation for their city’s respective recreational programs.

“I remember when the city had all sorts of ball teams,” said councilman Danny Thames. “I can’t wait until that day comes back.”

Williamson said he hopes to see the city’s recreation program as a whole grow. He said the city recreational board, which meets at 6 p.m. on the third Monday of the month in city hall, is currently developing plans to bring more sports activity to the city.

“Right now, we are in negotiations with the (County) school board about the terms of the Florala City Middle School property, which includes the gym,” he said. “I’d love to see the school use it for sporting events and the city maybe having basketball leagues play. The possibilities are there. We just have to work out the terms of the agreement.”

In other business, the council:

• recognized the newly appointed Florala High School ambassadors.

• appropriated an additional $265 to complete the sidewalk in front of the First United Methodist Church.

• voted not to vacate the alley behind the Masonic Lodge.

• voted to purchase climate controlling, programmable thermostats for eight of the city’s buildings.

• voted to seek bids to grind nine stumps. Deadline is Fri., Aug. 27, at 5 p.m. with bids opened Monday at 10 a.m.

• voted to not lease the FCMS Vaitis Building from the BOE until a tenant can be found.

• appropriated $40,000 for a new sidewalk in front of the Warehouse Market and Mall, which will install new sidewalk to the end of the block in front of Dorothy’s House of Flowers.

• read a resolution honoring the late Al Robbins, a former Florala mayor, who passed away earlier this month.

• announced a budget hearing will be held prior to the next council meeting on Sept. 13.