Council OK’s centralized location for July 10 election

Jasper City Council members approved using just one location for city residents to cast a ballot in the July 10 special election concerning legalized Sunday alcohol sales.  During Tuesday’s city council meeting, council members agreed that the Jasper Civic Center on 19th Street would be the sole location for the election. The election will determine whether alcohol can be legally sold in the city on Sundays. “We think there are several advantages for doing this,” city clerk Kathy Chambless told council members. One advantage of using a centralized location for the election, she said, is that it should cut down on any confusion as to where residents cast a ballot. It also may serve as a test case for future elections in the city, Chambless said. “I’m extremely pleased that the voters in the city will have the opportunity to vote on this,” Mayor David O’Mary said following the April 17 council meeting when council members set the date for the special election. “There are supporters on both sides of the issue, and there are many who think having this could create significant economic development. If this vote is successful, we should now that is the not-too-distant future.” Despite being in one centralized location, city officials said residents will still cast ballots at the civic center according to the district they live in. Resident Ed Lay told council members he believes moving to a centralized location will just cause problems for voters. “The folks who vote know where their voting places are. You’re going to cause confusion,” Lay said. “You’re going to have people who can’t get transportation there.” In other business, council members: •approved minutes of the April 17 meeting. •presented a proclamation to 2018 Miss Walker County Chassidy Sumler, who will compete in early June in the Miss Alabama Pageant in Birmingham.

The proclamation praised Sumler for her work over the past 10 years in trying to curb childhood obesity. She has hosted four 5K walks to help promote healthy living among youth while raising funds for the Children’s Miracle Network. Sumler has partnered with the Alabama Boys and Girls Club of Central Alabama, as well as local schools and after-school programs. Sumler just completed graduate school at UAB and will begin medical school later this year. •approved the appointment of Wayne Rector to the board of directors of the Jasper Housing Authority. •approved granting a special events permit for a wedding on Seventh Street West in Jasper on Saturday, June 2.    •introduced an amendment to the city’s budget to provide $9,500 for preliminary engineering and survey work for an issue with drainage near 13th Avenue in District 5. •adopted a resolution to award the bid for a drainage project on Doctor’s Branch creek just east of the Jasper Civic Center. The low bid went to Gillespie Construction for $747,452.32 — which was approximately $250,000 less than was expected, O’Mary said. Work is expected to begin in the early summer, O’Mary said. •approved a resolution to place three properties under the city’s nuisance abatement ordinance because of overgrown grass and weeds. •approved a request to proceed with vacation of a portion of 33rd Street West and Second Avenue.