By Nathan Prewett
For the Trussville Tribune
CENTER POINT – In a short meeting at Center Point City Hall, several residents spoke during the public comments portion of the council meeting on Thursday night. Some of the issues discussed were clean ups in the community, what to do about abandoned houses, among other business.
Resident Sharon Wilbourn asked about what can be done about derelict and abandoned houses in the neighborhoods. Councilman Roger Barlow said that it has been “frustrating” for the council too but they are short of an inspector. He said that he is hoping for full staffing in the future.
“It’s been an issue where if you don’t follow a timeline and procedure you have to start over,” he said.
He went on to say that different steps have different time frames. Councilwoman Linda Kennemer assured her that the council is working on the process.
Resident Pellman Jackson raised concerns about leaves being swept into gutters that are causing drainage pipes to be clogged up, as well as signage for businesses throughout the city being blocked. Barlow encouraged him and others in the audience to call or search the website for City Hall if they come across such issues.
Resident Billy Hagood spoke on making efforts to fill out staffing at City Hall, including hiring another city inspector. He raised concerns about lights that he said need to be fixed, as well as unused signs that should be taken down. Hagood urged the council to update the website with their financial reports, saying that fewer have been appearing online by the year.
Later the council passed a resolution for a proposed zoning amendment to the Center Point Planning and Zoning Commission. The resolution was brought up at the last meeting but was opposed by Councilman Terry Leesburg, who raised questions about it. He said that his questions have since been answered and voted in favor of the amendment.
The council also voted unanimously to authorize the city to apply to the Alabama Communities of Excellence, a program that helps find grant money for various community projects.
Barlow passed on several comments from Center Point Mayor Tom Henderson, who was absent. The mayor said the Center Point Senior Center has been given a $252,746 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for expansions and renovations to the building.
Mayor Henderson reminded the public about a prayer breakfast being held on March 10 at Hilldale Baptist Church at 7 a.m. Tickets are $10. He also mentioned the opening of a new business called Sweetheart Bakery at 1513 Upton Rd.
Councilman Bobby Scott said there will be a city wide clean up on May 13. Volunteers are welcome to sign up for the event. Councilman Leesburg reported the city will hold its annual Easter egg hunt for kids ages two to ten at the Center Point Ball Park.
Councilwoman Kennemer said that a public safety meeting scheduled for March 7 will now be held in April.
Before the meeting was adjourned Councilman James Howell urged public cooperation with city government. He said people have brought up issues the council was not aware of and that he will address such issues if he’s contacted.
“Citizens must be involved in the process,” he said. “It’s not about government making everything happen. You, the citizen, must participate because you are the most viable part of making any community work.”
The next meeting will begin at 6:15 p.m. on March 9 with a work session. The Regional Planning Commission will present a final version for long range plans for the city.
Pre-council will then begin at 6:45 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m.