Parrish street project still delayed

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PARRISH - Mayor La'Tisha Oliver said Tuesday night that Parrish's street project continues to be delayed.

Oliver said during Tuesday's work session an update was obtained earlier in the day as the project was expected to start by now. She had assumed it was because of recent rains.

However, she said Nelson Engineers reported that day that the contractor has not been in touch with the engineers. "They have not gotten any information from him," she said, adding that the same contractor did the last road project years ago. 

Oliver said she didn't know how to contact the contractor but she has contacted grant writer Terry Acuff to say she needs to find a way to call him about when the project will start. She noted she is hearing complaints from residents on the streets slated for repairs. 

The $350,000 Community Development Block Grant road project was projected to start Jan. 20, depending on weather, with the ending date roughly looked at being May 5. 

The mayor also mentioned the delay during the later formal meeting, also noting it has been raining steadily recently. "The roads are being washed away the more and more every day that it rains," she said. 

Oliver noted Nelson Engineering has been trying to contact the contractor. She said there would be efforts Friday to find more information. The May deadline is still in effect, she said, although officials were not clear what would happen if the work starts late. Officials speculated the contractor probably factored in extra time for the weather. 

During the work session before the formal meeting, the council:

• Saw council district maps from the Walker County Board of Registrars, which the board wants city officials to update them before the August municipal elections in terms of who is in the city limits. Council members were also given the calendar for the election, also available on the Alabama League of Municipalities website (alalm.org) in its election section. Qualifying will be on July 7-21, while the election will be on Aug. 25, and any runoffs on Oct. 6. The mayor and council will be sworn in Nov. 2. 

• Discussed the loss of participation in the park and recreation program due in some cases to concerns over how the program is being supervised. Oliver said she has had a number of parents to contact her. However, Oliver noted many of the children are participating for free, as many parents are not volunteering or paying into the program. "I have two parents who pay to have their kids participate," she said. Oliver said when she was growing up, registration meant money needed to be paid, but now some expect the town to undertake all the cost. 

During the formal session that night, the council: 

• Voted to reappoint Ormer Jean Gaines and Pat Murphy to the Parrish Water Board. 

• Heard Oliver talk about the finances, noting the town pays $10,000 a month for the Splash Pad but that a banking official is urging her to pay more on the financing. Town officials indicated the financing is a municipal bond. She said accountant Don Wallace, who has been helping the town on in finances, would work with those connected with the splash pad bonds. 

She said she told the banking officials that payment for February was made that day, but the official said, "We could use another payment by the end of February," she said. 

"He said currently we have over $14,400 on deposit, but that amount should be $23,400 as of the end of January, so that is $9,000 short," Oliver said. The official told her that the amount the town must pay on June 1 is $51,512.50. "So we need a total of $37,000 to be paid between now and Memorial Day," she said.