Eric Brown

Cliff Williams / The Outlook

Eric Brown

City of Alexander City department heads extended their workday Monday in hopes they would leave with some idea of what projects they could start.

Instead, department heads left the Alexander City City Council meeting Monday night still not knowing what projects they could start. One by one, each department gave the council its top two requests. After nearly 45 minutes of presentations of $4.6 million in proposed projects and $1.6 million in fleet purchases, the council decided it needs a work session to determine how to spend just over $1 million left in the 2021 budget.

“You can’t smear $1.38 million over this and get very far,” councilmember Eric Brown said. “The sewer is our main concern.”

Tuesday’s presentations trimmed the capital budget to almost nothing. The $6.2 million in requests represents about 20% of the original capital budget requests.

Brown went on to say he understands the needs but spending just cash for major projects has to be rectified.

“I understand the frustration,” Brown said. “I understand this list is trimmed as $6.2 million is not even close to the needs of the city. Everyone has taken stuff off.”

Brown said many in the public do not realize what all is involved in services the city provides.

“The biggest chunk of this infrastructure underground,” Brown said. “A lot of it is sewer. If we don’t start to deal with it, (Environmental Protection Agency) and (Alabama Department of Environmental Management) will step in, do the work and send us the bill not caring how we pay for it.”

Councilmember Chris Brown said no one person, council or administration is responsible for the position the city is in on many pieces of its infrastructure.

“This is something that has been going on for many years,” Chris Brown said. “This council is ready to face it.”

The council also approved the sale of property behind the old Russell Main Office being renovated by Amadeus Group to the development group. It also approved the sales tax rebates to Lake Martin Coffee Company which is opening Scooter’s Coffee on U.S. Highway 280.

Finance director Sandy Stanbrough said there will be a work session Dec. 17 for a presentation of the fiscal year 2018 audit.

Check Wednesday’s Outlook for a full story on the council meeting.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.