Keith Strickland, a representative of Goodwyn/ Mills/Cawood Engineering of Birmingham, explained to the council that the City of Jasper could be eligible for a federal grant to pave Old Birmingham Highway, Walston Bridge Road, Third Avenue and Ninth Avenue.
The grant, which would be administered by the Alabama Department of Transportation, would match 80 percent of the funds. Strickland said the city would only be obligated to pay 20 percent of the project, plus preliminary work like traffic counts and survey crews.
Strickland said applications for the first phase of the grant are due in October, and he suggested that the city send a letter to ALDOT citing the council’s willingness to fund the resurfacing of one road. He suggested to apply for Old Birmingham Highway for the first phase. He estimated the total cost of the project to be around $630,000.
Strickland added that the City of Jasper’s application for the grant must include traffic counts, which he said will cost a few thousand dollars for each road.
Council member Johnny Rollins said the first road to be applied for in the grant should be determined by the highest level of traffic, which would be Walston Bridge Road.
Council member Gary Cowen suggested a measure that would approve the traffic counts for all four roads and apply for Old Birmingham Highway and Walston Bridge Road. The council approved the motion by a unanimous vote.
In other business, the council:
•Approved a license for retail beer and wine off premises sales for Love’s Truck Stop.
•Approved $16,750 of funds to replace a light pole at A. P. Howell Field, which was destroyed in the April 27 severe weather. The funds will also pay for the removal of two light poles from the Frisco ball fields and relocate them to the Trotter ball fields, and to place four new light poles at the Trotter Fields.
•Approved 10 budget amendments introduced by City Clerk Kathy Chambless. The amendments included estimated profits from the city’s operation of concession stands at its parks and changes in projected tax revenue to the city.
•Voted to draft a formal letter requesting the Walker Area Community Foundation to provide $19,500 to go toward the Southside Pool project.
•Voted to amend the Jasper Zoning Ordinance to allow Auto Body Repair facilities in the B-4 (I-22 Business Corridor) Zoning District.
•Approved a motion to change the stop sign at the intersection of Corona Avenue and 20th Street from a two-way stop and four-way stop.
•Adopted a resolution declaring April 18 to May 5 “Paint the Town Purple” days to raise awareness for Relay for Life. Local Relay representatives Rachel Simmons and Joe Thomason thanked the council for their support and said Relay committee members will sell purple ribbons for the event. Those interested in purchasing a ribbon can call Simmons at 275-1563 or Thomason at 300-1194.
•Approved a request from Chief Connie Cooner Rowe for training for the three members of the Jasper Police Department’s Criticial Incident Response Team at the Northeast Alabama Law Enforcement Academy in Jacksonville. The cost is $225 per person. Rowe also told the council that seven members of the response team need vehicles that they can take home, which will allow them to respond to emergencies quicker. Rowe and the council members agreed to discuss the purchasing of the vehicles in an upcoming work session.
•Heard a public comment from W.L. O’Rear, who represented a group hoping to restore Sherer Auditorium. O’Rear requested that the city council donate the building to the group.
Council Member Sandi Sudduth requested O’Rear to attend an upcoming work session to discuss the possibility of the donation.
•Heard a public comment from an audience member who wanted to bring to the council’s attention that the federal government requires all municipal pools to be wheelchair accessible. The audience member said the requirement will cost $55,000 for each of the swimming pools the City of Jasper plans to construct.