Alex City City Council

Cliff Williams / The Outlook Alexander City community development director Al Jones speaks to the Alexander City city council Monday night.

New Alexander City finance director Romy Stamps gave Alexander City councilmembers news they wanted to hear Monday night — a new budget is underway for 2022.

“I’ll have preliminary meetings in April and May,” Stamps said at Monday’s council meeting. “We will have meetings with department heads in May and June so we can get that underway.”

Stamps said the department was working hard to inventory city assets. Those in inventory and frequently ordered are being looked at as well.

“(Purchasing director) Miles Hamlet is working hard on that,” Stamps said.

Baird was happy with the announcement a new budget was starting.

“We are headed in the right direction,” he said.

A new budget wasn’t the only good news at the council meeting. Councilmembers remarked great things are just around the corner following a 50 minute executive session to discuss an economic development opportunity with Lake Martin Area Economic Development Alliance (EDA) director Chad Odom. While the council took no action following the session, and nothing was announced, councilmembers were still gleeful.

“I’m excited,” councilmember Scott Hardy said. “If you look at our community partners and the leadership we have in each of the entities with Chad at EDA, Brandy (Hastings) at tourism, Stacey (Jeffcoat) at MainStreet and Ed (Collari) at the chamber, I think this is the first time in a very long time that all of us are moving in the same direction. I see progress and potential for the community.”

And no one disagreed. Councilmember Chris Brown said the outlook is good for new jobs.

“We are on the right path,” Brown said. “I look forward to closing it out.”

Councilmember Bobby Tapley said he has heard from investors through his real estate business.

“I believe we are about to explode,” Tapley said. “It is good to hear encouraging news they might be right. Alexander City has a lot of good things coming.”

The rest of the news of the night was not as glamorous. Approximately $46,000 budgeted for the replacement of an electric transformer after a fire at a substation is being reallocated. The funds are no longer needed for the work and Mayor Woody Baird asked the council to point the monies towards technology needs of the police department as it moves to the new municipal complex. Baird said the department had many old computers that would not allow the installation of needed new antivirus software. The council will allow any remaining monies to be pointed at similar projects during the move.

The new municipal complex will have three custodians. Instead of adding personnel to the payroll, the police department will give up a security guard at the entrance to be replaced by a police officer. Currently city hall and the police department have custodians and will make the move to the new building. At the municipal complex all three custodians will report to building maintenance.

Baird said there are weekly meetings among city employees about moving to the new building.

Baird said the Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) had been closed out allowing for the application of other grants.

The council approved entering the city into two separate contracts with the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) and Russell Lands for maintenance of Patriots' Point. The maintenance will include the trimming and removal of trees near the flagpole and replacement of the flab.

In other action the Alexander City City Council:

• Approved minutes from the March 15 meeting

• Approved an easement across city property allowing access to the private road Boleware Brooks Boulevard

• Approved the sale of broken cell phones and wireless devices to help supplement funds going to cell phone service

The next meeting of the Alexander City City Council is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 19.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.