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Cliff Williams / The Outlook Work continues on the courthouse square renovation project in Dadeville. Contractors were removing water from the construction site on Cusseta Street Tuesday to allow it to dry for the construction of a new base under the road.

Mud and a lack of parking spaces face those currently trying to access the Tallapoosa County Courthouse in Dadeville.

Contractors are working on a project that will bring one-way directional traffic flow, new sidewalks, new lighting and landscaping around the square. The project has seen busted water pipes and concrete and weather delaying things slightly, according to Dadeville Mayor Wayne Smith. Smith acknowledged everyone’s frustrations but said at Tuesday night’s council meeting it will be worth it in the end.

“I know it is a mess right now,” Smith said. “We had a meeting last week. As soon as they get some dry weather they will be putting the base in on Cusseta Street and putting all but the final layer of asphalt.”

Smith said once the roadwork is complete on Cusseta Street, work will begin on Columbus Street then move to Broadnax Street and finally Tallassee Street.

“We will only close one street at any one time,” Smith said. “They will be working on multiple sidewalks but will work with businesses to have as little impact as possible.”

Smith said once all the paving work is done, the final layer of asphalt will be applied at once at some point in the spring. The sidewalks and other work should be finished by mid-December.

Mitzi Hidding, who is opening  new business Zazu Veranda on the courthouse square, asked the council about two-hour parking for parking spots directly on the square. Hidding presented the idea with another square business owner Cheryl Haggerty.

“We have a concern, parking during the day around the square,” Hidding said. “Employees of the courthouse and merchants park in front.”

Hidding and Haggerty said many of the cars park at 8 a.m. and don’t leave until 5 p.m.

“After 5 p.m. parking is not an issue,” Hidding said. “There are no spots for customers of businesses to park or for those who are going into the courthouse for a tag and such.”

Councilmember Dick Harrelson said parking around the square is not a new issue.

“It is a problem; it has always been a problem,” Harrelson said. “This is something we need to do.”

Harrelson said parking off the square should not be a problem, especially if the First Baptist Church Dadeville parking lot is used.

“It’s a short distance,” Harrelson said. “I walk 2 miles to Auburn ballgames.” 

Smith said the parking issue will be a problem until the courthouse square renovation project is complete. Smith said the issue will have to also be taken up with the Tallapoosa County Commission as it controls the parking closest to the courthouse and the Alabama Department of Transportation because Highway 49 is a state road. 

It was suggested to approach First Baptist Church Dadeville to seek permission to use its parking lots on weekdays.

The council stopped the process of creating a sidewalk and street vendor ordinance after discussion on food trucks setting up next to brick and mortar restaurants. Smith said a spot was found upper terrace of Pennington Park.

“It is one block off the square,” Smith said. “It’s closer than where they have been setting up. It is closer for the employees around the square.”

With permission to set up just off the square, food vendors can set up as long as they meet Alabama Department of Public Health standards and have an appropriate business license. 

The council unanimously approved tabling voting for a restaurant retail liquor license for Aztecas Mexican Grill LLC. The restaurant would locate in a building on U.S. Highway 280. Councilmembers wanted more time to look into the application as councilmember Roy Mathis said the LLC was only formed two weeks prior to Tuesday’s meeting.

“I would like to table this until we get some more information,” Mathis said.

The council indicated the license would be on the agenda for the next council meeting.

Smith and others said the street department will put Christmas decorations up as best it can noting the courthouse square renovation project and the Christmas parade will go on anyway.

“If the streets are under construction, we will take another route,” Smith said.

In other action the Dadeville City Council:

• Approved payment of bills

• Approved participation in 2020 Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday 

• Heard the water and sewer board transferred a truck to the Dadeville Volunteer Fire Department

• Approved recreation center rentals

• Approved a pay raise for Dadeville Police Department officer Chance Hunt. Hunt was promoted to lieutenant by police chief Jonathan Floyd. Floyd said Hunt will be the operations commander over investigations and patrol

The next meeting of the Dadeville City Council is at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.