Town looks to fill vacant council seat

By John Underwood
Posted 7/16/19

LOXLEY — The Loxley Town Council will hold a special meeting on Monday, July 29 in order to fill the council seat held by longtime council member and former mayor pro tem Richard Teal.During a …

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Town looks to fill vacant council seat

Posted

LOXLEY — The Loxley Town Council will hold a special meeting on Monday, July 29 in order to fill the council seat held by longtime council member and former mayor pro tem Richard Teal.

During a special meeting on Monday, June 24, Teal was sworn in as mayor for the town, succeeding longtime Mayor Billy Middleton, who passed away on May 17 at the age of 78 following a brief but hard-fought battle with cancer.

The council voted unanimously at its regular meeting on Monday, June 10 to appoint Teal to finish Middleton’s term as mayor, which runs through 2020. The council also voted unanimously to advertise to fill Teal’s Place 4 council seat.

At its meeting on Monday, July 8, the council set a special meeting for Tuesday, July 16 to interview six candidates for the position, including Dr. Philip Dembowski, Aaron Kirkland, Beth Lovell, Chris McCall, Randy Smith and Ronnie Babb.

The council has 60 days to fill the position from the time it was vacated on June 10, Teal said, meaning that the council will have to vote to fill the position before its next regular meeting, which is Aug. 12.

Teal said the council will also likely vote July 29 to appoint a mayor pro tem from among the council.

In other business July 8, the council voted unanimously to allow Teal to apply for a $350,000 Community Development Block Grant through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

The grant, which will come from funds made available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will include a 10 percent match from the town ($35,000), bringing the total cost of the project to $385,000.

According to the resolution passed unanimously on July 8 by the council, the funds will be used “to provide sewer rehabilitation in an older area of the town where high concentrations of low to moderate income persons reside.”

Improvements will be made on South Holley Street, south of Union Street and on the east and west side of South Holley Street, including sections of Celeste Court and South Hambo Court to the east, Loxley Arms Apartments, Mayfair Lane, Fincher Lane, Grimes Lane to the west and Steele Lane on the east and west side of South Holley Street.

The council also voted to authorize the mayor to use town funds on a project for improvements to Alabama 59 and U.S. 31.

The funds will be used to straighten sections of the highway and move parts of the right of way. The cost of the project, which is approximately $98,000, Teal said, will be reimbursed by the Alabama Department of Transportation.

The council also:

•Approved the 2019 Small Group Blue Access Gold plan for business rates through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama.

•Approved a resolution to declare an unsafe structure and public nuisance on South Oak Street, giving the owner 45 days to make repairs on the property.

•Voted to reimburse the owner of property on South Magnolia Street $651.50 for two years worth of payments on town sewer when the property owner was not hooked to the town’s sewer system. The property owner does have the opportunity moving forward to connect to the town’s sewer service, officials said.

•Tabled action to waive building permit and impact fees for Odyssey Church, which is being built north of Interstate 10 within the town limits. The matter will be discussed during the town council’s work session on July 29.