ARGO -- Argo Mayor Paul Jennings appointed a three-member committee to oversee the outside design around the municipal complex building.
“We had originally thought this was going to be completed by the general election,” Jennings told the council at Tuesday morning’s work session. “It’s not going to happen.”
At Tuesday’s work session, Houston Jenkins with JBWT Engineers of Gadsden met with the mayor and council, presenting several plans for the property surrounding the municipal complex. Plans included a separate entrance and exit for the city’s property, as well as a variety of angle parking alternatives.
One of Jenkins’ concerns was underground utilities, which could drive up the cost for the project.
Plans could include excavating a portion of the hill on the back portion of the property to allow for more parking, and/or excavating in the front portion of the property to allow for more parking space.
“Whatever we do is going to cost big money,” Councilwoman Ann Brown said. “But, it is what it is.”
She said council members need to be deliberate and make sure they have a good solid plan before moving forward.
“This is the only shot to get it right,” Brown said.
City officials are also talking about securing a federal grant to build a storm shelter near the municipal complex building.
“Our employees are sitting ducks right here,” Jennings said.
Incoming council member Corky Massey said the grant application for the proposed storm shelter could include additional parking, helping the city fund a portion of the parking around the complex.
Jennings appointed, with the support of the council, Massey, Brown and Councilman-elect Tony Alldredge, who will take his seat in November, to the committee that will oversee the planning of the proposed municipal complex project and then make recommendations to the council before the project begins.
Jennings said the committee could make its proposal to the current council or to the newly-elected council that will take office in November.
“We all want what’s best,” he said.
Jennings said nothing should be rushed so mistakes are avoided.
Two proposed sites for the storm shelter were both behind the municipal complex building.
Officials estimated the storm shelter would cost $100,000, but they hope to tap into a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant, which could pay about 75 percent of the construction cost.
Councilwoman Betty Bradley said she was told that the grant application must be submitted by Oct. 14, and the city would have to hire a grant writer to apply. A grant writer could cost the municipality about $8,000, Bradley said.
A council meeting following the work session. During that meeting, the council:
-- Approved having the city attorney send a letter to Crazy Horse concerning rental payments and municipal licenses;
-- Approved having the city attorney send a letter to Hunter Evans concerning the removal of panels from municipal property;
-- Approved sending the newly-elected mayor and council to the Alabama League of Municipalities School for Newly Elected Officials. The cost will be $125 per person;
-- Approved paying Bama Utility Contractors Inc. $42,030 for its share of the drainage pipe replacement project on Hickory Valley Road; and
-- Approved having the city attorney and the county engineer review the construction contract from McCartney Construction for the paving of Tom L. Smith and Bill Smith Road.