Names of first mayor, probate judge and fallen officer to be inscribed on Pelham monument

The names of three of Pelham’s most revered citizens will soon be inscribed in stone as the City Council unanimously voted Monday night to have their names inscribed on a memorial obelisk at the City Park.

The names of Paul Yeager, Pelham’s first mayor, Patricia Fuhrmeister, former Shelby County probate judge and Pelham resident, and fallen Pelham Police officer Philip Davis will be inscribed as a lasting reminder of their memory, service and commitment to their community.

The name of former City Clerk Willie Mae Dennis, the city’s first, was also added to the obelisk earlier this year.

In other council actions:

— Mayor Don Murphy announced Gov. Bob Riley has informed the city that Pelham has been granted a 100 percent Recreation Trails Program grant of $100,000 to build a bridge over the spillway at Oak Mountain State Park and add 25 miles of biking trails.

The city will supply engineering and clerical assistance, while Shelby County and the Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers will also provide labor, funds and assistance.

The project will give the trail an Epic rating, which is deemed the highest rating by the International Mountain Bike Association.

“We hope it will put more people in hotel rooms, and restaurants and in Pelham,” Council member Bill Meadows said. “We want to get people on the trails and off the streets.”

The grant was initiated in June, but Meadows said it takes time for these type of projects to get through to ensure the money is wisely spent.

“We don’t want to have a bridge to nowhere,” Meadows said.

— The city council voted 3-2 in favor of amending the sewer rate increase, with members Steve Powell and Karyl Rice voting against the correction from the previous ordinance that passed Dec. 10.

Council President Mike Dickens said the amendment to the ordinance was simply something that was overlooked when the previous increase was passed.

Powell and Rice also voted against the Dec. 10 ordinance.

Monday’s voted changed the small commercial increase to $5.87 per 1,000 over the first 7,500, up $1.80 from what was voted on Dec. 10. The flat rate for the first 7,500 is now $52.38, up $8.38 from what customers have been paying.

— The council unanimously voted to extend health insurance to the family of fallen police officer Philip Davis through Jan. 31, 2010.

Council member Steve Powell said the measure was a logistical fix until the city can work out a permanent solution to ensure Davis’ widow and two children are taken care of.