Montevallo city council splits over contract

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 9, 2006

An effort to terminate the contract of House Consultants for the completion of a comprehensive plan failed to pass in Montevallo Monday night.

Councilmember Becky Cox-Rodgers said about $19,000 had been paid to House Consultants (Bob House) for work on the city&8217;s comprehensive plan.

Cox-Rodgers contended because a public hearing was not held and materials were not presented to the city&8217;s Planning Commission, it would be best for the city to terminate the contract.

She made a motion to that effect, and Councilmember Greg Pendleton seconded.

Mayor Sharon Anderson said she was unsure what would happen with county participation with the plan if House were terminated.

She also took issue with Cox-Rodgers for not raising the issue during a work session and called it &8220;being sabotaged.&8221;

Catherine Legg, who has resigned as planning and zoning director, said she felt House had fulfilled his contract.

She asked the council to consider any action &8220;carefully.&8221;

&8220;(Bob House) is a very professional man. He has an extremely good reputation,&8221; Legg said.

The vote to terminate the contract failed to pass on a 3-3 split with Anderson and councilmembers Dana Byrd and Willie Goldsmith opposed and Cox-Rodgers, councilmembers Hollie Cost and Pendleton in favor.

In other business, the council made a move that could provide some 58 residents of the Aldrich community with city sewer.

The council unanimously approved a resolution to seek an $820,000 Community Development Block Grant to provide sewer to the Aldrich homes.

The federally funded grant would be administered through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, and the $320,000 match would be provided by the Montevallo Water and Sewer Board.

There would be no charge for residents to tap onto the sewer system during the time of grant, officials said.

The council also approved an ordinance on a 4-1-1 vote allowing beer, wine and spirits of 14 percent alcohol or less to be served at authorized functions at the Parnell Memorial Library during hours that the library is not opened.

Councilmember Byrd was opposed and Anderson abstained.

A 3-2-1 vote also was taken on a public speaking policy in which Pendleton and Cox-Rodgers voted &8220;no,&8221; Anderson abstained and Goldsmith, Cost and Byrd all voted in favor.

Although the policy appeared to have passed, councilmembers questioned the vote&8217;s validity following the meeting.

City attorney Steve Sears was unsure about the validity at presstime.

In other business, Pendleton said following Monday&8217;s meeting that the Internal Revenue Service is looking into accounting practices of the city during 2003-04.

Pendleton said there were

papers which were not filed with the IRS but said was not aware of anything &8220;serious.&8221;