Sylacauga's city administration

Sylacauga's new city administration was sworn in Nov. 7, 2016. City Judge Barry Vaughn administered the oath of office to Mayor Jim Heigl; District 1 council representative Ashton Fowler; District 2 representative Tiffany Nix; District 3 representative Donnie Blackmon; District 4 representative Lee Perryman; and District 5 representative Dallas Davenport.

SYLACAUGA – Lighting upgrades are coming to several areas of the city, while one of the downtown streetscape projects is about to move forward.

The City Council on Tuesday evening authorized funding for Phase I and Phase II street lights at the Highway 280 and Highway 231 intersection.

Police Chief Kelley Johnson made the recommendation to the council for the lighting, which includes LED replacements and upgrades. Four poles will be replaced, along with 44 lights with LED replacements.

Previously, the police chief said the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) had informed him the lighting is now the city’s responsibility to maintain.

“Many of the lights are not working, new fixtures are needed and at least four poles are down out of 46. The state has the poles to replace those,” he said.

Johnson spoke with the Sylacauga Utilities Board, and a board official said the fixtures needed to be changed to the LED type.

Total cost for Phase I and II is $68,200, based upon quotes from Sylacauga Utilities Board. The project will be funded from the 2017 bond proceeds.

In another safety upgrade related to lighting, the council accepted a recommendation, also from the police chief, to fund solar traffic flashers at the intersections of Sherwood and East 6th Street and North Main, and to add strobes to the red traffic signals at the intersection of Highway 280 and Coosa Street.

The council allowed up to $10,000 to complete this project.

Also, solar flashers will be placed at Highway 280 and Fayetteville Road and Highway 280 and Allen Oil.

The final lighting upgrade is for the parking lot at City Hall. The council accepted a recommendation from interim Code Director Mike Whetstone to begin work to upgrade the lights by purchasing new light poles from the Sylacauga Utilities Board at an estimated cost of $3,486.

Anticipated additional costs of $7,203 for installation of lights will be incurred based on an earlier quote from Farr Construction. Total cost of the project, including installation, will be funded from the 2017 bond proceeds.

Work should begin soon on the downtown streetscape project in the block that includes City Hall and the library.

The council approved a recommendation from Mayor Jim Heigl to pay $37,246 to Engineering Design Technologies Inc. (EDT) for contract related services and construction engineering and inspection services for the construction phase of the 2015 TAP Streetscape Improvement Project.

The city received a $217,000 grant through the Federal Highway Administration Transportation Alternative Program (TAP). Total project cost is more than $300,000, with the city paying the remainder of the funds for the project.

In other business, the council:

  • Held a public hearing for a request from Blue Bell Creameries to close and vacate a portion of a public alley within Blue Bell properties off West 4th Street; the council approved the request following the hearing;

  • Adopted an ordinance for the city to participate in the Alabama Department of Revenue 2019 Sales Tax Holiday the weekend of July 19-21;

  • Amended a contract with KPS for the provision of zoning services and for assistance with updating the subdivision regulations at the request of the Sylacauga Planning Commission at a cost not to exceed $5,000;

  • Approved travel and expenses for payroll specialist Sandy Sorensen to attend a conference and forum in Foley, July 24-26, at an estimated cost of $1,384.01; and

  • Authorized the payment of $182,023.46 for accounts payable for March.

The next regular council meeting is Tuesday, April 16, at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Complex.