Talladega City Council

The Talladega city administration includes (from left) Councilmen Horace Patterson, Jarvis Elston and David Street, Mayor Jerry Cooper, and Councilmen Ricky Simpson and Gerald Cooper. 

TALLADEGA -- The Talladega City Council voted 4-0 Monday night to approve a franchise agreement with Zayo Group, a Colorado-based company that will be installing a fiber-optic network along the city’s rights of way in a particular area. 

Councilman Jarvis Elston was absent.

“The franchise agreement includes the maximum franchise fees allowed per federal law, 5 percent of gross revenue realized from operations within the city of Talladega, and will be paid to the city on a semi-annual basis,” according to a memo to the council from City Manager Beth Cheeks.

The ordinance itself goes on to say the “city intends, by the adoption of this franchise, to bring about further development of a fiber optic network facility, and the continued operation of it. 

“Such development can contribute significantly to the communication needs and desires of the residents and citizens of the city and the public generally. Further, the city may achieve better utilization and improvement of public services and enhanced economic development and operation of a fiber optic network facility.”

Cheeks told the council the establishment of this particular fiber optic network will create a small area of 5G service in the municipality. The specific network that is being established is meant to serve an individual in town but will be available to others as well.

The area served by the network will be near Brookwood Baptist Health Center/Citizens Baptist Medical Center, she said, but the hospital is not the individual client for whom Zayo is putting in the network.

A map showing the project area was not available Tuesday.

Although the Zayo project will only cover a small area of the city, Cheeks said after the meeting that AT&T and Verizon are also working to upgrade the city’s communication facilities to 5G.

Also Monday, the council:

  • Approved weed abatement liens on six properties;

  • Saw Mayor Jerry Cooper present a proclamation in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month to 2nd Chance Inc.;

  • Approved a holiday schedule for the new fiscal year;

  • Approved requests for new street lights on Sloan Avenue and Howard Street based on resident requests and analysis by the Public Works Department. The new lights will be LED rather than the incandescent yellow lights commonly used throughout the city, although Cheeks said the LEDs will be phased in at other locations as well;

  • Set the speed limit on 14th, 15th and 16th streets at 15 mph and banned on-street parking on those streets as well;

  • Approved two agreements with Talladega College, for $1,500 each, for use of the Ben E. Bruner Sports Complex and the swimming pool at the Spring Street Recreation Center for the next year;

  • Surplussed and donated two 2011 Ford F250 pickup trucks to the Talladega City Board of Education. Councilman Ricky Simpson abstained from voting because he does contract work for the board;

  • Condemned eight pieces of property for demolition and gave 30-day extensions to the owners of three others;

  • Approved a contract with R&R Contractors Inc of Alabama to install a sewer pump station at a cost of $842,000 on Alabama 21. Cheeks said half of the project will be paid for using grant funds;

  • Heard Councilman David Street commend the city’s code enforcement and building inspection employees for the work they did on the list of condemned properties;

  • Heard Public Works Director Karen Phillips say the excavator currently on Battle Street would be used to clean out a drainage ditch on Jackson Street next; and

  • Heard Council President Horace Patterson emphasize the need to develop tourism in the city, citing a recent letter to the editor in The Daily Home, among other documents.