Montevallo Council members debate uses for capital improvement funds

Published 11:51 am Tuesday, April 30, 2013

By DREW GRANTHUM / For the Reporter

MONTEVALLO — The Montevallo City Council met for a special work session April 29 to discuss key components of the city’s proposed Comprehensive Capital Improvement Plan, or CCIP.

The two-hour session saw Mayor Hollie Cost and the council attempt to prioritize plans for the capital improvement plan’s funding. At the top of the list was paving the city’s streets as well as renovations to City Hall and the Montevallo Police Department.

Cost called for major renovations to City Hall instead of a complete replacement, including roof repairs, building rewiring and replacing old carpet with tile. According to City Clerk Herman Lehman, these would be the first major renovations to City Hall since 1976.

“What we’ve talked about is using what we have,” she said. “We can expand. We’ll have exterior sign improvements. We can have some sort of space so we can all sit down and meet. We could make it work. We don’t want the Taj Mahal here.”

Cost also expressed her concern about waiting too long to decide how to appropriate funds.

“We need to make a decision about what we want to do as far as City Hall goes,” she said. “What we can do is look at the budget and decide how much money we want to allocate to it and make it work.”

The plan also provides for a major street paving project, which was another area of debate during the meeting. The project would include the paving of an estimated 30 miles of road in Montevallo. This would be the first major paving project in the town’s history, Lehman said.

Councilman Don Hughes said he was concerned about the order in which the streets would be paved.

“Who sets priority? Is it the street committee?” he asked. “Half of Moody Street hasn’t been paved since 1947, and Moody Street isn’t as wide as Neighbors Street. You say it’s going to cost so much per square mile, you got to know what streets you’re going to do.”

The council also discussed a possible rubberized track in conjunction with the University of Montevallo, and the lease and renovation of a softball complex in Orr Park.

Other items discussed included the proposed Arts Incubator, which would call for a building in the downtown area to be renovated, as well as extensions to the walking trail system and the construction of a new Boys and Girls Club facility.