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Pell City Council accepts 1st reading of new flood ordinance

New Pell City mayor, council officially take office

The new Pell City Council and mayor were sworn into office Nov. 7, 2016, at the Pell City Center for the Performing Arts. Members of the new administration are (from left) Council President and District 2 Councilman James McGowan, District 1 Councilman Jay Jenkins, Mayor Bill Pruitt, District 5 Councilman Jud Alverson, District 3 Councilman Blaine Henderson and District 4 Councilman Jason Mitcham.

PELL CITY -- The City Council has accepted the first reading of a new flood ordinance, though the city manager said it has nothing to do with heavy rain the municipality received earlier this week.

“This is a little more procedural in nature,” City Manager Brian Muenger told the council.

He said the need to update the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance stems from a need to be in compliance with Federal Emergency Management Agency standards. These standards are a requirement for the city to take part in the National Flood Insurance Program. 

This program helps promote flood insurance in communities near rivers and coast lines. It is administered by FEMA, with the aim of reducing economic hardship from flood events by making sure home and business owners have quality flood insurance. 

The ordinance read by the council was based on a model ordinance sent to the city by the Alabama Office of Water Resources. The ordinance was then looked at by Byron Woods of Municipal Consultants, who often does engineering consulting for the city. 

Muenger said Woods made several suggested edits to the ordinance. All of these suggested changes to the current ordinance were reviewed by the council during its regular meeting Monday.

The ordinance will now be sent back to state officials for review before it is voted on in the next council meeting. 

Muenger said while the changes are complicated, they do little to actually change the city’s flood ordinance. 

“Mostly, it’s text changes, definition changes,” Muenger said.  “It does not impact the substance of the ordinance and it does not impact anyone that is not developing within the floodway.”

Muenger said the changes come from the state wanting to bring its model ordinance in compliance with NFIP standards. Due to this, every municipality in Alabama that operates near bodies of water will be required to update their own flood ordinance.

In other matters, the council:

  • Denied a request for de-annexed property on Robertson Lane;

  • Approved a bid for the upfitting of five new Police Department Chevrolet Tahoes by Brasher Electronics for $40,769;

  • Approved a bid by B&S Sporting Goods for 2020 Spring Sports Uniforms;

  • Approved a contract with Mark Hale for the Bulls on the Lake Rodeo. Hale will pay the city $750;

  • Approved the purchase of a Ford F-250 for the Fire Department for $33,147;

  • Approved revisions to the administrative accountant job description to clear up duties;

  • Approved lease of office space in the Municipal Complex to the Literacy Council of Central Alabama for an annual lease of $1,800;

  • Approved credit for water leak at 413 Bishop Circle; 

  • Appointed James McGowan as voting delegate and Jay Jenkins as 1st alternate for the Alabama League of Municipalities Convention in Tuscaloosa on May 16-19, 2020;

  • Moved the second council meeting in March to March 30 due to a scheduling conflict.

Taylor Mitchell, Daily Home reporter covering Pell City.