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Americus City Council moves forward during April’s meeting

Mayor Blount and the city council met to vote for the April business before the city on Thursday, 4/22/21 via Zoom. The voting agenda was light. After a presentation from Nigel Poole of Sumter County Emergency Management regarding COVID-19 and inclement weather, the voting began.

A first reading regarding an amendment of the city alcohol ordinance was held. Although the state has passed legislation allowing licensed locations to serve alcohol curbside, local governments have the option to opt out. The amendment addresses this new legislation, and the ordinance would reflect the city has opted out of allowing the curbside service. There will be a second reading on the ordinance and a vote next month.

After much discussion regarding the financial issues of completing a sewer project, the city, the provider and City Attorney, Jimmy Skipper have addressed those issues with a formal document which would allow the project to go as far as there are dollars to fund it. This vote passed unanimously.

Nelson Brown again addressed Brookdale Park, and ultimately made a motion to go forward in procuring bids to improve the park. Some of the items he wanted to improve include security cameras, installing walking paths and recreational courts. Brown has consistently put the park in front of the council and they have consistently decided against furthering the developments. In the past the council has heard multiple lengthy conversations and assessed the option, ultimately citing valid concerns about the city investing in the project further. This meeting was no different with only Brown and Daryl Dowdell voting in favor of potentially investing further funds into the park. After the vote failed to pass again, Dowdell suggested Brown get in touch with sororities to see if they could fund some projects. Lou Chase asked for further clarification on the city providing lunch to a group who worked/visited the park recently. Although the visitors had made plans to provide their own lunch, Brown was ineffective in his communication and the city purchased lunch which was not consumed by the visitors. Brown took ownership of the problem and reports he repurposed the excess food elsewhere.

As a “house keeping issue” in preparing for the annual budget audit, the council suspended the rules and voted on a 2020 budget ordinance which would allow city management to adjust funds on the 2020 budget. The adjustments did not affect the bottom line on the city’s financial health. The suspension of rules and the passing of the ordinance change were approved unanimously.

After some announcements by Diadra Powell and further comments by Brown, the council moved into executive session and came back into open meeting with no votes entertained. The meeting was adjourned with the mayor wishing watchers a good and safe weekend.