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Weeds, roads and taxes on agenda for Thursday council meeting

Published 7:39pm Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Taxes, roads and neglected property seem to create discussion among residents, and today the Alexander City Council has all three of those on the table.

At a work session scheduled for 11:30 a.m. today, a proposed 1 percent sales tax increase to fund road work and weed abatement are set to be discussed.

District 3 Councilman Bob Howard said that as infrastructure ages, cities have to find a way to address issues.

“Every city in America has infrastructure issues and we all have to find a way to cover it,” Howard said. “Some people don’t like sales tax and say that it is a regressive tax. But here, we have a lot people who visit the area for Lake Martin and people who travel 280. This way they will all help fund our road work.”

Under the plan, the sales tax would move from 8.5 percent to 9.5 percent.

Mayor Charles Shaw said many of the city’s roads have not been resurfaced in 20 years or more. The funds, if approved and estimates are accurate, would allow for every road in the city to be resurfaced within the next 12 years.

As for weed abatement, the proposed resolution would make it easier for the city to force property owners to cut high grass or make them pay for the city to deal with the issue. While the ordinance is complex, the big change would be a reduction of the current 90-day process, to a quicker 30-day turnaround.

“As it is now with that 90-day window, the frost would kill it before you could get it cleaned up,” said Shaw. “We think the 30 days would give an owner more than ample time to address the issue, and if they don’t then it will let us get it done without it being an eyesore for so long.”

Also on the agenda is a resolution to finalize a lease with the Alexander City Archery Club.

The meeting is open to the public. It will be held in the courtroom located on the third floor of the Criminal Justice Building.

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