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Council meeting features patriotic theme

By By Paul Keane
Publisher
A patriotic theme surrounded Monday's regular meeting of the Atmore City Council, as two proclamations were read in support of the men and women battling the enemy in Iraq.
Before the start of the meeting, Mayor Howard Shell read two proclamations, one supporting the men and women fighting in Iraq and the other encouraging employer support of both the National Guard and Reserves. The City of Atmore had one employee, Charles Gandy, called up to active duty with his Guard unit from Brewton.
"No matter what your views on this conflict may be, we encourage everyone in the area to support the troops," Shell said. "It is very easy for us to sit in our living rooms or dens and watch all of this unfold, but it is very different to be over there experiencing it.
"I would hope that everyone would be supporitve of our men and women who are risking their lives to defend our country and the way of life that we enjoy here in this area."
The Council also approved a measure amending the 1995 and 1998 tax abatements for Masland Carpets. Originally, the abatements were given as incentive to expand the facility and create more jobs, but the cost of the expansion exceeded more than 10 percent of the abatement, making the amendment necessary.
"This is a good thing," Shell said. "It means that Masland is creating more jobs, buying more equipment and expanding their facilities. We hope we have to do this again and again."
The Council also approved a request for a Memorial Day Parade to be held on May 26.
Shell addressed an issue concerning dogs and flower beds during the meeting, asking for help from citizens before something has to be done by the City.
"We have had a number of calls about people walking their dogs in Houston Avery and Tom Byrne Parks," he said. "Those dogs are using the restroom in the bushes and even in the flower beds located in downtown.
"This presents an extreme health and sanitation problem, and we are asking dog owners to pick up after their pets while they are walking them. We do have littering laws in place, and this would fall under that heading.
"We are asking residents to please police themselves so that we don't have to resort to harsher measures."
Shell also read a letter of thanks from the Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department for a donation of 40 feet of hose for its new pumper station. Shell also asked the Council to pass a measure officially satisfying a mortgage taken out by Tommie Stewart through a housing grant in 1984.
The Council also passed four other resolutions. They included the following:
Shell also thanked First Assembly of God Church for loaning the city an American Flag that is currently hanging from the fire truck ladder in front of City Hall. The City owned two such flags, but found them to be in disrepair and ordered two new flags. The church loaned a flag to the City until the new flags were delivered, which should be later this week.