Questions answered about newsletter, campaign signs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 13, 2004

There will be no more articles by Alabaster’s mayor and council members in the next city newsletter. And the city’s sign ordinance will be clarified for

city ordinance enforcement officials.

Mayoral candidate Larry Rollan raised questions about the city’s newsletter and sign enforcement issues during Alabaster’s July 6, City Council meeting.

Rollan said he had to take a sign down the same day another big sign was put up. He ask of the sign ordinance &uot;Are we going to comply or not?&uot;

Councilmember Adam Moseley responded that the sign ordinance &uot;applies to everyone.&uot;

But Council President Rick Walters pointed out that it is not the council’s job to enforce ordinances.

In pre council Councilmember Tommy Ryals said he has asked that the sign ordinance be clarified for code enforcement officials.

Rollan next asked if signs put up by current Mayor David Frings would be addressed. Frings responded that those signs would be addressed.

Following the council meeting Frings said he has had 100 or more campaign signs stolen or moved.

He acknowledged that two of his signs were put on residential property where there were no homes and that it was a mistake. He said the signs came down that same night.

Rollan also asked if other candidates would be allowed to campaign in the city’s newsletter.

Walters responded that there would be no more mayor or council comments in the next newsletter.

According to Alabaster’s code, political campaign signs are subject to the following:

Political signs can be located only in a residential zoning district on property with a dwelling.

Political signs cannot exceed 10 feet in height nor 32 square feet in sign face area.

Political signs cannot be separately illuminated.

Residential property owners can grant permission for political signs to be placed in their respective yards provided that no sign be placed in a public right-of-way.

&uot;Political signs shall not be placed in a public right-of-way or on any utility pole or three, whether on public or private property.&uot;

Political signs related to an election or event must be removed within 10 days following the election or event. If not removed by such time, &uot;the city may remove the signs at the expense of the named candidate, other sponsor or the owner of the property on which the sign is located.&uot;

Councilmember Jim McClain reported that Veterans Park off Highway 119 is not officially open to the public at this time. He said the recent dedication ceremony was held at the park on July 3rd in order to honor veterans, but the park will be opened at a later date.

In pre council McClain informed councilmembers of the need to secure the new park with a gate. He said, according to the county, the park can have park hours.

McClain said he has requested a cost estimate for the gate. But citing deductions in the park’s cost, he said the gate will not represent a financial problem for the city.

Frings thanked everyone for the July 3 dedication at Veterans Park including Parks and Recreation Director Larry Vann and his staff, councilmembers, county commissioners and veterans. He compared the park to those in Hoover and Vestavia.

Frings also reported that for the fourth straight month sales tax revenues are up for the city.

He also said license fees thus far have exceeded the whole year of 2003 with a total of about $1.495 million.

Ryals said the city did 946 inspections in June, 17 new homes were constructed at a value of $2.5 million, and the city collected tap fees totaling $35,100.

In actions taken, the council:

*Approved the purchase of a defibrillator at a cost up to $1,510 for the Gardener House where senior citizens attend.

*Approved the surplus action of Caterpillar D-46 generator from the Sewer Department with bids to be open at 7 a.m. on July 26.

*Set a public hearing for Aug. 16 on a rezoning request for 19 acres from Agriculture to R-3 residential with 10,000 square feet lots and 1,400 minimum square foot homes. The proposed 45 lot subdivision will back up to Scottsdale.

*Approved the appointment of Laura Mims to the a two-year term on the Park and Recreation Board.

*Accepted a Personnel Board recommendation and approved the creation of a Grade 20 assistant court clerk position. It was pointed out that the position represents a promotion of existing personnel and not a new hire.

*Approved the minutes of the June 21 meeting from which Councilmembers McClain, Bobby Harris and Ryals were absent. The three abstained from the vote