Archived Story

Council tours McKelvey building

Published 11:10am Thursday, November 22, 2012

A special called Dadeville City Council meeting Nov. 20 began with Christmas lights and ended at the McKelvey Chevrolet building as the council addressed several major issues in the city.

Christmas lights have been a point of contention in the city for some time and an issue Mayor Joe Smith had promised to tackle.

After a discussion with Alabama Power about what it would take to bring Christmas lights back to Dadeville, the council has begun looking at getting the city rewired and the lights ordered, with a minor issue – commercial lights are sold the first three months of the year and distributed in August, September and October, said Councilman Mickey Tarpley.

“Everything after that, they’re selling for next year already,” Tarpley said. “The lights that go with the banners that we bought won’t be available until next September or October.”

But Tarpley said he had found a set of similar lights – not enough for the whole city but enough to surround the courthouse. Tarpley said he is waiting for a quote, and then the lights could be delivered as early as next week.

“We can go to Walmart or Fred’s and buy lights like we use at home, but then they don’t have the illumination that the commercial lights do,” Tarpley said.

The council also unanimously passed two resolutions regarding a grant from the Alabama Emergency Management Agency.

“Dadeville does not have a backup pump or source of electricity for its sewage lagoon,” said Robin Reynolds, city attorney. “If they do not have power down there, then the pump does not pump to the waste water treatment plant, and you have problems with backup into creeks … and Lake Martin.”

The problem came to light after the April 2011 tornado, Reynolds said. The grant would allow the city to provide a back-up generator for the sewage lagoon.

The grant is about $103,000, Reynolds said, with about $77,300 coming for the Alabama EMA and the remainder coming through a match from the city, in cash or in kind.

“In-kind work would be work that the city would do, and they would assign a cash value to the work the city does,” Reynolds said.

The city also passed a related resolution to enter into a contract with a grant-writing consultant and an engineering firm to do the engineering work for the project.

The council and others attending the meeting also toured the McKelvey building, which the council purchased to become a new city hall.

“We feel like it’s a good investment,” said Councilman Randy Foster. “I’m excited about it.”

Tarpley said the council hopes to move in by December or January, depending on how much renovation they decide is necessary.

“There’s talk of building and developing this into having a meeting room – not just a little conference room,” Tarpley said.

Additionally, the building could also support more office space – a place to talk with prospective new business owners or visiting industries or for city council members to have meetings with citizens to hear their concerns.

“You could sit down with one or two people without getting in a room that seats 50,” Tarpley said.

The large showroom area at the building could also serve as showroom to highlight Dadeville.

“We could have the kids do projects or something like that and set it up and have the people come see it,” said Councilman Billy Monroe. “The kids – they would love that.”

Rush McKelvey said McKelvey Chevrolet is currently operating out of its old facility while building a new facility on U.S. Highway 280 west of the city but still within the city limits.

“Chevrolet wanted us to become image compliant – where all Chevrolet dealerships look the same,” McKelvey said. “So we’re going to bring a new facility to Dadeville.”

One concern residents expressed at the Nov. 13 meeting was the lack of a drive-through. Foster said the city will likely add a drive-through in the future and in the meantime will maintain a dropbox.

With the drive-through issue resolved as well as parking concerns – the building purchase also included the concrete lot on the opposite side of Green Street –

Smith said he feels good about the new building.

“I think it’s nice,” Smith said. “I’m a lot more satisfied now.”

The next council meeting will be Nov. 27 at 5 p.m. at Dadeville City Hall. Beginning in December, council meetings will be held the first and third Tuesdays.