By Nathan Prewett
LEEDS – At a meeting on Monday, Jan. 28, the Leeds City Council voted to amend the budget to allow $50,000 to modify property that was acquired for the city government to use as a new city hall.
The property was previously owned by Alabama Power, which closed down the Leeds office in the summer of 2019. The city of Leeds won a bid on the property and will be moving to the existing building as opposed to constructing a new one.
“We were fortunate enough to win the bid on that,” Mayor David Miller stated at the meeting. “And we have now a suitable place to expand into rather than build a new city hall. But we do need to make some modifications to make it suitable for our purposes.”
The property is located on 1412 Ninth Street. Councilman Eric Turner said that moving to the new building will save the city on costs, as well as bring more traffic, which will, in turn, bring more attention to businesses. He expects that the move will be completed before March.
The resolution was originally not on the agenda but was added as 2020-01-15. The council voted unanimously to approve the amendment.
Before old and new business was discussed, a proclamation was read declaring the month of January “Human Trafficking Awareness Month.” The proclamation cited a U.S. State Department estimation of between 600,000 and 800,000 people trafficked across international borders per year.
“WHEREAS, the first step in eliminating human trafficking is to educate others,” the proclamation reads. “We must work to ensure that all our residents are aware of this problem and how to spot it. We must work together as a community so that human traffickers are punished and to protect and assist their victims. Through the vigilance and perseverance of our citizens, effective enforcement of justice will someday be a reality; and
“WHEREAS, we ask all residents of this community to join us in raising the visibility of this crime whose victims are all too often invisible. Together, we can become more informed about this pressing issue and work to combat its injustices.”
The full proclamation can be seen in the agenda packet on the City of Leeds’ website.
In other business, the council:
- Re-appointed Scott Sisk to the Leeds Board of Education,
- Declared surplus of old vehicles from the fire department and authorized their sale,
- Adopted a city purchasing manual
- Approved a one-time special event waiver for Right Stuff, LLC for a grand opening,
- Extended a franchise agreement with Charter to Jan. 27, 2025.
- Established post-construction best management practices for permanent storm water control structures,
- Amended the business license ordinance for insurance companies to set a maximum $120 license fee, and
Authorized the use of municipal credit cards by officers and employees of the city of Leeds.