By Toni Stauffer
At the work session on Monday, Summerfield subdivision residents Era Bowden and David Quinney, on behalf of their Home Owners Association, addressed the council with a request for assistance with street lighting to discourage criminal activity.
Bowden said that Summerfield residents have been experiencing a lot of recent break-ins, noise and foot traffic from people cutting through the woods behind the subdivision off Pierce Road.
Bowden described a Summerfield resident who works out of town a lot and is concerned for the safety of his wife who, alone and fearful, discharged a firearm into the air to scare off any possible intruders.
“I don’t want it to become a place where we’re shooting, because it is a safety issue right now. It’s not anything else other than fear,” said Bowden. “We’re trying to do everything we can in the association to locate a resolution.”
Bowden said the police department has been wonderful and frequently checks the area, but that it is still a safety concern.
Quinney described the affected area as being in a gully. Councilman Steve Bailey (Dist. 1) said he drove by to see the area and that “it’s dark down in that hole,” but Bailey and the rest of the council agreed that the area didn’t meet the requirements for additional lighting by the city, and that the responsibility of installing additional lighting is on the HOA.
Mayor Eddie Lowe stressed that the city has to be consistent with their decisions in such matters, and that it has turned down the same request by other citizens. City Manager Wallace Hunter explained that lights facing the street are the responsibility of the city, but lights facing a residence or business are the responsibility of that home or business owner.
In other news, the council passed a resolution to grant an encroachment on their right of way to the Phenix City Housing Authority, so that an irrigation and sprinkler system can be installed at Hidden Hills Trace Apartments, a new development at 24th Street.
The apartments off Stadium Drive were built to replace Riverview Apartments in downtown Phenix City. Whitewater Village is in its first phase of construction and is expected to be complete at the end of next year.
A resolution to accept a bid from Thompson Power Systems for Preventative Maintenance Services for Emergency generators in the amount of $19,050 was passed, as well as two agreements with Constantine Engineering Services: one for professional services for the Wastewater Collection System Consent Order Reports, not to exceed $35,000, and another for professional services for the Wastewater Treatment Plant Phase II improvements, not to exceed $50,000.
Three resolutions regarding the fixing of costs incurred for removal of substandard structures, as well as the establishment of special assessments was approved for the following properties: 925 16th Court, 700 Seale Road, 1300 2nd Place South. Legal notices were posted for each property in The Citizen.
The city’s finance department has entered into a 36-month lease for a Sharp MX-5070V color copier in the amount of $6,646.32. The Municipal Court entered into a 36-month lease for a Sharp MX-M3070V copier in the amount of $2,700.72.
From Phenix City Parks and Recreation, Central High School will be receiving a one-time compensation of $500 for tournament travel expenses.
In observance of the 2019 Severe Weather Preparedness Tax Holiday, the city has passed an ordinance declaring an exemption from municipal sales and use tax for weather preparedness related items during the last full weekend of February.
Cynthia A. Robidoux will be opening an antique store at 921 Broad Street in the near future.
Roger Dennis, nominated by Councilwoman Vickey Carter Johnson (Dist. 2), will be filling the library board opening.
Repairs on the Central Activity Center began this past summer, and what was supposed to only take a few months has taken longer than expected due to additional problems discovered when workers were replacing the HVAC units.
The air conditioners have now been replaced, however, the floor is buckling in some places and must be fixed.
There are also some touch-ups remaining. Hunter said he expects the center to re-open the first of the year.