City readies for tour Columbiana council sets expenses for Christmas

The Columbiana City Council approved an $820 estimated expense for the Columbiana Beautification Board’s Christmas Tour of Homes and answered questions about access to city funds from a representative of that board at its regular Tuesday, Nov. 19 meeting.

According to Mayor Pro Tem Tom Seale, by law the council is the only entity of the city that can distribute funds. He said for the last two years the council has been trying to educate its various boards to that fact.

Seale said that for several years auditors had criticized the city concerning the way money was disbursed. So, he said, the city brought the distribution of funds &uot;in house.&uot;

Councilmember Ouida Mayfield told Beautification Board vice president Soloine Madison, &uot;We appreciate your effort and time. You are important to us. Never feel that you are not appreciated. I think that this has been a misunderstanding.&uot;

Councilmember Sherry Rush also noted that there was no need for beautification board members to spend cash out of their own pockets.

City Clerk Terry Collum also informed Madison of the deadline to get expenses approved by the council, and Mayfield suggested that expenses for the Beautification Board could be billed directly to the city with a purchase order.

When asked if concerns had been put to rest by the council, Madison said, &uot;Everything’s great.&uot;

Councilmember Tim Billingsley reported on the organization of a Citizens Corps of volunteers for local emergencies.

He also commended emergency personnel for sounding sirens on the night of Nov. 11 to warn citizens to take shelter from the approaching storms that crossed much of the state that night.

Billingsley said police and fire personnel went out into the storm to sound sirens and that about 150 people came to city hall for shelter.

He said the city is looking into the purchase of storm sirens or other means to warn citizens of storm dangers such as a citywide telephone callout system.

In other matters the council:

Approved a change in position for Larry Doss from investigator to part-time dispatcher at a rate of $11.06 per hour effective Nov. 30. The change was made at his request.

Approved the placement of a trailer behind city hall and to move equipment at a cost of $1,000 in connection with the renovation of the Police Department facility in the downstairs area of city hall.

Approved the change in status for Brandi Burns from part-time dispatcher to full-time dispatcher for no change in pay of $11.06 per hour, effective Nov. 19.

Approved the advertisement for a utility clerk opening in the administration.

Approved the transfer of funds from the General Fund to Ball Park Construction in the amount of $1,945.91 ($1,821.75 for Park & Rec &045; City portion expenses and $124.16 for Ball Park construction) as well as the transfer from the General Fund of $2,676.88 to the Library Account.

Accepted the proposal of Latham Associates as architects for the renovation.

Approved an increase in pay for Police Officer Nick Kirkland from $13.94 to $14.49 and an increase in state retirement contribution by the city from 5 percent to 6 percent

effective Nov. 30 as Kirkland graduated from police academy.

Absent from the meeting were Mayor Allan Lowe and Councilmember Leslie Whiting Sr