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Kmart building may be sold

By By SHERRY DIGMON
Advance Staff Writer
The Atmore City Council is considering selling the old Kmart building on Lindberg Avenue.
The city is paying liability insurance on the building and is losing the money that could be made on investment.
Shell repeated the invitation for anyone in the community to give a reason for keeping the building.
The council voted to get an appraisal on the building.
In April, the previous administration, with encouragement from several local citizens, voted to purchase the Kmart building and five acres for $450,000. The venture was part of a proposal that would have enabled Jefferson Davis Community College to move its Atmore campus to that location. In turn, the city would have bought the JDCC property at the interstate for commercial development.
While the college administration was favorable to discussing the proposal with the city administration, the Atmore Industrial Development Board and the state Board of Education, no commitment was made.
In August, JDCC President Dr. Susan McBride told the parties that the move was not feasible for the college.
In other business, the council
ZD heard a report from Paul Darnell of CDG Engineers on the Owens Street drainage project, which will stretch from the Winn Dixie shopping center to the railroad overpass on Owens Street.
The council questioned Darnell on how much of the town will be torn up at one time.
Darnell said he has talked with the Alabama Department of Transportation about a detour around Highway 21 at Owens Street.
Darnell recommended resurfacing the project area rather than patching.
The project should be ready to bid within 30 days.
Darnell said the total project cost is $1.306 million. The city will receive $979,000 in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) matching grant. The city's portion is $326,000.
The drainage system is designed for a 25-year rain.
The project will take about six months to complete.
ZD approved budget adjustments discussed in a recent workshop.
ZD voted to dispose of surplus equipment. Several vehicles in the police and street departments have been deemed surplus. Department heads are still evaluating, so the list is not complete.
ZD was asked by Shell to consider Tommy Boothe for reappointment to the Airport Committee. The vote will be done at the next meeting.
ZD granted a parade permit request by the Chamber of Commerce. The Christmas parade will be held Dec. 2.
ZD approved a request by Fire Chief Gerry McGhee to transfer a night employee to days to handle paperwork, and to advertise the position and hire a replacement for the night shift.
ZD approved a request by Shell to make improvements and repairs at the SAIL Center on Ridgeley Street. The work includes replacing a water cooler that doesn't work, repair the roof, clean the carpet and fix the lights.
Councilman John Watkins said the council should consider replacing the roof. Shell said he would have it checked.
The council voted to approve all the work.
ZD awarded bids for three cars for the Atmore Police Department and a pick-up truck for the 21st Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force.
The bid was as follows: two cars at $23,582.60; one car at $23,662.60; one truck at $25,472.50
All four are three-year lease purchase vehicles with a dollar buy-out at the end of the lease.
Bid requests were sent to all local dealerships. Only Johnson Ford responded.