Action was taken on a few key city matters at Tuesday’s Dadeville City Council meeting, as an interim police chief was appointed, a decision was made to demolish a nuisance property and the Dadeville Senior Nutrition Program was restarted after being temporarily shut down.
The council named Karen White as the new senior nutrition program director and she will start work Monday.
The council closed the nutrition program after the program directors retired in August because the city didn’t have anyone to replace them. The program temporarily closed Aug. 30 but volunteers Ann Atkins and Joyce Smith ran the program in the meantime. Parks and recreation director Scott Baker also delivered meals to the homebound program members during the temporary shutdown.
“We feel like there’s a need for this program,” Mayor Wayne Smith said.
Seniors filled city hall to talk about the program. East Alabama Regional Planning and Development aging director Michael Morrison spoke at the city’s pre-council meeting.
“I’ve attended many council meetings but I very seldom see the enthusiasm and as many people out as I see (Tuesday night),” Morrison said. “When we heard that the center was closing we were very, very distressed and we were very distraught. We cover 10 counties and the city centers and the services that they provide to our seniors are very much needed.”
Morrison said the aging and disability resource center helps with Medicare and legal services.
“We are committed,” Morrison said. “I had two of my people come down. They don’t give lip service. They were boots on the ground when they heard the center was going to close. Our big question was what can we do to help?”
Morrison wants to help the senior program grow.
“We see (the city) as a vital partner in this endeavor and again we’re here to do whatever we can to assist whether it’s financial, whether it’s providing assistance,” Morrison said.
Alexander City Nutrition Center program manager Jennifer Carlisle said the Alexander City program does more than provide meals, as it also hosts speakers and bingo.
“We provide fellowship,” Carlisle said. “A lot of my people who come don’t have spouses or they never were married or they don’t have children and they form a bond together with each other. If somebody’s not there, they ask me, ‘Have you heard from so and so?’”
Smith said he wants volunteers to help with the senior program and is planning on having speakers and arts and crafts at the center in the future.
“There are a lot of folks that have some time and I know that everybody is busy, but we want folks who are busy,” Smith said.
Anyone interested in volunteering at the senior program can call city hall at 256-825-9242.
The council later held a public hearing on a nuisance property on 115 South Broadnax St. The council decided to demolish the property, but the owners placed it on demolition grant list so when it gets torn down they will not get taxed through the revenue commissioner’s office.
“The structure is unsafe,” building director Michael Richardson said. “There is weeds and debris in the yard. We have pictures of that. We have picture of holes in the roof. There have been holes in the roof for a long time.”
The council also held a 13-minute executive session on appointing an interim police chief for when Dadeville Police Department chief David Barbour retires at the end of the month. The council appointed officer Johnson Floyd.
“This interim term can be anywhere from when chief Barbour leaves until the next election,” Smith said. “That’s when the term police chief is renewed. Every four years after the election the mayor and council in their organizational meeting reappoints a police chief, fire chief, city clerk, city attorney, building inspector, so on and so forth.”
In other action the city council:
• Heard from resident Jan Pearson on the annual breast cancer walk. Pearson requested assistance with where to start the walk since it usually begins at the courthouse in October.
• Heard from Kendallyn Presley on getting pets vaccinated.
• Was given a proposed food truck ordinance to review.
• Unanimously approved a 50-cent an hour pay raise for city employees in the 2019-20 budget.
• Approved putting an advertisement in Tallapoosa Publisher’s Dadeville Magazine.
• Heard from Rep. Ed Oliver (R-Dadeville), who attended the meeting. Oliver told the audience to reach out to him if they have questions or concerns about anything.
• Approved recreation center rentals.