Councilwoman details city’s progress

Published 9:49 am Saturday, August 20, 2016


The current administration and government of the City of Florala will end in October. I would like to take this time to review a few of our accomplishments and disappointments over the last eight years beginning in 2008.

1. Fiscal responsibility was our top priority. We inherited a deficit of $150,000 and are now $150K in the blue.

hazel lee2. We repaired the relationship between the Water Board and the City and together, returned the offices of the Water Board to City Hall for efficiency of operations and for the convenience of our citizens.

3. Many of our streets are in poor repair. We developed a paving plan and paved more than 15 streets with more listed in the paving plan to be done.

4. Additionally, we repaired four blocks of downtown sidewalks which further enhances the appearance and safety of our city.

5. For years, the City had a binding airport lease agreement which blocked millions of dollars of grants over the years. This administration, working with others, found a way to break the airport lease leading to several million dollars in grants.

6. We renovated City Hall.

7. We purchased an empty downtown building which has been rented every month except for two. An occupied building not only brings a little revenue to the city in rent, but it enhances the appearance of downtown and brings in tax revenue.

8. We resolved a lawsuit with the utilities board involving city council representation on the board.

9. The City now receives a portion of the Water Boards gross revenues (all other cities that we canvassed receive monthly revenues from their Water Boards. Florala was an exception.)

10. Using mostly donated money gleaned by Mayor Williamson, we installed a state of the art children’s park next to the old armory.

11. We approved installing bathrooms and a walkway connecting to the children’s park

12. We completed the walk park around the lake to the state line.

13. Rather than let Lake Jackson fall victim to Alabama’s state park closings, we successfully negotiated with the state and obtained ownership to Lake Jackson.

14. We built an additional lake pier and renovated another

15. Costal Cotton established its business at our Industrial Park

16. We obtained 24/7 advanced EMS service for Florala.

17. We increased pay for City employees.

18. We set up a better retirement plan for City employees.

19. We drastically improved our Police Department.

20. We approved the purchase of a new fire truck which improved our insurance rating.

21. We approved the repair, upgrading and painting of our water tank.

22. We purchased a new Christmas Tree and ornaments and had a great Christmas celebration in 2015.

23. We remodeled our Fire House to accommodate the EMS ambulance and paramedic services.

24. We purchased new police cars.

25. We sent letters to property owners whose properties are over grown or are in poor repair to take action to clean up their properties.

Our most outstanding disappointment is the tortuous procedure that is involved in getting decrepit buildings either repaired or removed. We will continue to work in this area.

We are most proud that we united our city and water board and kept our city operational while keeping within our budget. At audit, we were lauded for our fiscal management and was among the top for a city of our size.

Our mayor, Robert Williamson, is a very competent and fair manager who makes sure that we are within our legal bounds in all that we do, and that everyone is treated equally. Our City Council, Marvin Williford – District 2, Debra Innabinet – District 3, Pat Carmichal – District 4 and Ann Eason – District 5 have worked together for the good of our city.

I thank the citizens of Florala for working with us to make our city a welcoming place where growth is encouraged. I wish the next Administration and Council the best at continuing to improve our city.


Hazel Lee represents District 1 on the Florala City Council.