By Crystal McGough, For The Tribune
ARGO – Thomas Suggs was officially sworn in on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, by Judge Carl Chamblee Jr., to fill Place 2 on the Argo City Council.
Suggs, along with Mike King and Bob Carter, applied for the position after former councilor Michael Hicks resigned on Aug. 8, 2022.
“I, Thomas Suggs, solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Alabama so long as I continue a citizen thereof,” Suggs said. “And I will faithfully and honestly discharge the duty of the office of which I’m about to enter to the best of my ability, so help me God.”
In other business, the council unanimously approved a motion to enter into an indemnification agreement with Norfolk Southern and Truss Hymn LLC, concerning a railroad crossing at the location of the newly proposed Grant Crossing subdivision. Grant Crossing will be located on 54 acres of land off of Angus Street, behind the former location of the Argo Drive-In.
Furthermore, the council voted to amend its City Hall Room Rental Policy and its employee vacation policy. Due to several concerns discussed during the pre-council work session, the events room at city hall will no longer be rented out to the public, with the exception of specific council-approved rentals to recognized civic groups meeting during regular City Hall hours, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Concerning the employee vacation policy, some city employees had formerly requested the option to receive a monetary pay-out in lieu of accrued vacation hours.
“This would be to amend the current employee handbook policy to the vacation section,” City Attorney Michael Brymer said. “It would state that no more than once in any calendar year, an employee may transmit a request to the mayor that the employee may be permitted to receive a one-time cash payment as part of the employee’s payroll check, less taxes and all required deductions, for a ‘cash-out’ of some or all vacation time which has at the time of the request been approved. In the event the request is approved, the employee will be paid for the accrued time as requested next pay period or other subsequent pay period as the mayor may direct, less any applicable taxes and/or deductions. All such requests may be denied, in whole or in part, in the event that honoring such a request shall, in the absolute and sole judgement of the mayor, place an undue hardship upon the city or its financial position.”
The council also approved a motion to increase its business license issuance fee from $12 to $14, which will take affect Jan. 1, 2023.
Councilperson Ann Brown gave an update on the city of Argo’s first Monster Mash fall event, which is scheduled to take place on Oct. 29, beginning at 4 p.m.
“The committee is still in the planning process,” Brown said. “… What we need now is volunteers. If there are any businesses that would like to furnish workers for the games and hand out their business flyers, or any citizens that would like to volunteer, any subdivision that would like to volunteer to operate a game, to supervise the inflatables, to help with food … we need a handful of volunteers and we would love to have you come out and enjoy the festivities.”
The council voted to give Brown approval to spend up to $3,900 in tourism grant funds for the event.
The council suspended the rules in order to add to the agenda a motion to send Councilperson Danny McCarley to a three-day AAFM (Alabama Association of Floodplain Managers) conference on Oct. 17-19.
The Argo City Council will hold a budget work session on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 5 p.m., at City Hall ,and the next regular meeting of the council will be Monday, Sept. 26, immediately following at 5 p.m. work session.
Crystal McGough can be contacted at email@example.com