Council says no to big signs

Published 12:32 am Wednesday, November 10, 2004

By By Arthur McLean
Despite the pleadings of sign salesman Chuck Riley, the Atmore City Council declined changing its sign ordinance to let his company rebuild its roadside billboards damaged by Hurricane Ivan.
The signs were grandfathered into the city's current sign ordinance when it was adopted, but the ordinance does not allow new signs or the rebuilding of damaged or deteriorated signs.
Riley said he had a petition signed by 15 of his 25 billboard customers in Atmore wishing the signs be repaired.
Mayor Howard Shell said the city intended to follow its sign ordinance. "We see no need to adopt changes to the ordinance at this time," Shell said.
The city's attorney has already been contacted by an attorney representing Bill Salter Signs, and Shell said he would let the lawyers handle the discussion.
"We've had our ordinance reviewed by the League of Municipalities, and we see no need to change it," Shell said.
Riley asked for comment from the council members, but none countered the mayor. When Riley tried to discuss the finer points of the ordinance's language the mayor cut him off, saying "we're not going to argue signs all day."
The council took no action on the issue.
In other action, the city applied for a grant of $2.3 million for improvement work at the municipal airport, including expansion of the taxiway. The city will be required to put up almost $63,000 in matching funds if it wins the grant.
Updated the city's policies and procedures manual in order to match state and federal mandates to complete work funded by the Community Development Block Grant in the Maxwell Street area of Atmore.
Rescinded an amendment to the city's privilege license code. Shortly after Hurricane Ivan, the city amended the code to allow higher dollar amounts of subcontractor work to help residents recover from the hurricane's damage. The city was informed that change was in violation of state regulations, and the amendment was rescinded.
Began application to the Alabama Community of Excellence program.
Approved the hiring of a general contractor to make emergency repairs to the Atmore Public Library.
The city also received a certificate of excellence from the state for the quality of its financial reporting practices. The award was presented to city clerk Becca Smith.
The council also voted to recognize the efforts of Woodrow McCorvey, Atmore educator who died Saturday.

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