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Council awarded grant for sidewalk construction

By By Sherry Digmon
Advance Staff Writer
Mayor Rodney Owens announced at Monday's meeting that the city has been awarded a $200,000 grant for sidewalk construction on Carver and Liberty streets.
Owens said the start date has not been determined. Another sidewalk grant was approved a couple of years ago, and work has not begun on that project yet.
The announcement opened another line of discussion.
Councilman David McKinley issued a warning to the council about the sidewalk at Jeanette Smith's house on Craig Street. McKinley said the sidewalk has been in need of repair for a long time.
Along the same lines, Councilman John Watkins brought up the CDBG work on Martin Luther King Avenue. The city has had difficulty in getting the contractor, GMR, to finish the project satisfactorily and in a timely manner.
Watkins also criticized the drainage work done, saying Atmore needs "educated rain," meaning rain that knows to flow uphill in some of the ditches.
Owens said he has a list of inadequacies prepared and is waiting for the job to be inspected.
In other business, the council:
* discussed repairs to Fire Station #4 on Pensacola Avenue.
Fire Chief Gerry McGhee presented estimates, not bids, on roof replacement, construction of a fire escape, and kitchen floor repairs. Estimates indicate that the total cost will fall below bid guidelines, but the mayor and council decided to bid the job out.
The council will seek two bid packages n one for shingles with a wooden stairway and one for a metal roof with a metal stairway. Both packages are to include kitchen floor repair.
n voted to purchase 40 new chairs for the SAIL Center on Ridgeley Street. Owens said he can get the chairs for about $15 each, including freight, from Escambia Lawn and Rental.
The purchase will come out of the city's capital improvement fund.
The council voted unanimously to buy the chairs.
* approved a request from Darren K. Smith, Ed.D., administrator of Temple Christian Academy, on designating a school zone at Kiddie Kollege Kindergarten and Temple Christian Academy. The school is located at Atmore Baptist Temple on South Main Street.
There was some discussion as to whether the council makes the designation or petitions the state to make the designation.
Dr. Smith said Rep. Skippy White told him the request had to come from the city.
Owens said he will get in touch with the Department of Transportation and Rep. White for a clarification. The proper action, whether a motion or resolution, will be taken at the next meeting.
The council agreed that any areas that should be designated and have not been will be included in the action. They also included the new Escambia County Middle School on Highway 21.
* re-appointed Murray Johnson to the Atmore Education Revenue Commission. Johnson's term expires March 5.
The mayor also re-appointed Jeanette Green to the Housing Board. Her term expires March 16.
* opened bids on a 1977 Chevrolet van from the fire department. Bidders were Calvin Grace, $110; Larry Ramer, $150; and Charles Jackson, $150 "if it runs." The van does run, resulting in two identical bids. The council was not sure how to award the bid. Owens said he would find out.
n heard an inquiry about lighting at Tom Byrne Park. Owens said he is still waiting to meet with an engineer from Alabama Power Company.
* heard a request from W.G. Johnson that the city do something about the littering and dumping in Stallworth and Fairview Cemetery.
Names and addresses have been found among the trash.
Don Whatley, manager of the Street and Sanitation Department, said he has found that some of the trash comes from out-of-town residents. He has found addresses from Monroe County and Florida.
And it's not just household trash. Whatley has cleared out mattresses, water heaters, bed springs, etc.
Whatley said he tries to keep signs posted, but "the signs go missing pretty regular."
* heard a request from Johnson that patients at the Dialysis Center in the Winn Dixie Shopping Center be allowed to load and unload in the fire lane in front of the building.
Getting from the car to the center and back is sometimes a hardship for patients.
McGhee said the state mandates the fire lane, and the city cannot change it. However, Police Chief Danny McKinley said he has instructed his department to permit patients to load and unload in front of the center.