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 -- The City Council has voted to increase taxes in three areas in an effort to put more revenue in the municipality’s coffers.

Ordinances were approved Tuesday night authorizing increases in the city’s lodging tax, lease/rental tax for automobiles and sales/use tax for automobiles.

Those taxes will increase 1.25 percent effective Jan. 1.

The possibility of increases was first mentioned in a late September budget work session by Council President Lee Perryman.

At that time, the council was considering a 4-percent cut in expenses for all departments as the proposed budget had a deficit. Later, the proposed cut was taken off the table, when Perryman indicated departments had worked on bringing the deficit under control and no cuts would be necessary.

In the meantime, he still proposed the city increase taxes in the three areas. These taxes, Perryman said, will bring additional revenue -- he estimated the amount at $200,000 -- for the city’s general fund.

In other business, the council:

  • Re-elected Perryman as council president and Ashton Fowler as president pro tempore for a 12-month period;

  • Amended the 1989 Sylacauga Zoning Ordinance to add a Planned Unit Development (PUD) district at the recommendation of the planning commission following a public hearing where there were no objections to the change;

  • Adopted an ordinance authorizing participation in the 2019 Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday (Feb. 22-24);

  • Set a public hearing for Dec. 18 to consider annexing 15 pieces of property;

  • Authorized an agreement with AVENU for business license discovery and recovery services;

  • Approved a resolution requesting authorization from the Alabama Department of Transportation to combine two grants for streetscape and Americans with Disabilities Act improvement projects into one construction plan to allow advertisement of both projects at one time;

  • Accepted a recommendation from interim Code Director Mike Whetstone to requested a quote from Engle Services for the purchase and installation of two new 5-ton furnaces and a 10-ton split air conditioning unit in the city-owned building housing Comer Museum;

  • Accepted a recommendation from police Chief Kelley Johnson to declare surplus property no longer needed for municipal purposes and authorize the disposal of this equipment through GovDeals online auction or other appropriate means;

  • Established the part-time hourly rate of pay for firefighters at $11.95, police officers at $15.93 and animal shelter employees at $10.75, effective the pay period ending Nov. 9;

  • Renewed an option for a ground release agreement with Barinowski Investment Co. LLC/Georgia-Carolina Co. to locate a telecommunications tower on city-owned property at 395 Alabama Ave.;

  • Approved a one-time appropriation in the amount of up to $40,000 for the Sylacauga Parks and Recreation Department to provide funding for a tennis court resurfacing and repair project, with the Board of Education agreeing to pay 20 percent of the costs;

  • Accepted a recommendation from Whetstone to seek bids to replace City Hall HVAC units and two remote terminal units;

  • Authorized the disconnection of water services to at least 16 sites around the city at the request of Whetstone;

  • Approved travel and expenses for code enforcement administrative secretary Shannon Plexico, human resource specialist Jayne McGee and accounting clerk Sandy Sorensen to attend training sessions in their respective fields of expertise;

  • Authorized the payment of $17,435.75 for additional fiscal year-end accounts payable received for September; and

  • Approved payments totaling $238,472.49 for accounts payable invoices received to date for October.

The next council meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 6 p.m. in the Faye Hosey Council Chamber at City Hall.