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Adrian receives first half of ARPA funds

Mayor Wynola Smith and Adrian City Council met Monday, July 12, inside the Adrian Annex. During that meeting, area leaders were updated about where the City of Adrian stands with American Rescue Plan Act funds.

The third item under Unfinished Business, Mayor Smith told the five council members the first half, $124,000, had been received already. She asked council to begin considering how the funding should be spent.

Another highlight of the meeting came shortly after the ARPA address in that the city attorney gave a briefing related to the charter update, a process that has been ongoing for several months now.

According to Paul Calhoun, the charter is almost finished. He asked council to give suggestions about the ordinances they believe the city needs addressed in the new charter, and he also provided city leadership with ordinances from surrounding cities for review.

During the meeting, council also heard an update in regard to a damaged sidewalk on behalf of the Department of Transportation. The agency reportedly informed the city the area should be surveyed to determine what guidelines should be followed during the repair process. Because of this, council postponed the matter until more information becomes available.

Mayor Smith also delivered an update on the city’s pursuing a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. She had a meeting with Cardno, a Norcross-based company that works in the management, scientific, and technical consulting services industry, the day following the meeting. Cardno will help the City of Adrian through the application process and beyond, including clean-up. If the city receives the EPA grant, funds upward of $300,000 (or significantly less, depending on the federal agency’s discretion) could be funneled to this part of Emanuel and used in Adrian for various ways.

Mayor Smith will provide an update on the EPA grant pursuit at the city government’s next meeting in August.

Minutes from the July meeting also indicate that the ice house inside the city limits had been demolished and Shannon Watkins would start working on the Knapp building on Mondays. The minutes go on to describe briefly an update on the weather alarm. Delivered by Michelle Love, this project has been discussed a handful of times in the past few months.

According to Love, two quotes had been received. She also researched on her own and found that purchasing the equipment and building the alarm independently would be a cheaper option for Adrian. No action was required of council for this particular agenda item.

Mayor Smith also informed council the vacuum leaf equipment purchased by donations from private citizens back in June had been received and was working well.

Wrapping up Unfinished Business, the mayor addressed the city’s successful Fourth of July event. The recreation department reportedly made a profit from the event; leftover t-shirts are available are being sold for $10 each at City Hall.

As in previous months’ meetings, reconciliations were not ready for mayor and council during its meeting held two weeks ago.

Members of council then delivered their respective department head reports.

Jesse Yawn, representing the fire department and doubling as fire chief, reported that calls had slowed down during previous months. That slowdown, he said, was beginning to pick up. He also stated he would be looking into a quick response truck for the city’s volunteer fire department.

Ed Brown, on behalf of the street/water department, stated he had spoken with employee Johnny Weathersbee and all in the department seemed to be running as usual.

Chief of Police Kyle Strickland stated in his address that APD had been busy in the past month. The department, he continued, is still awaiting permission from the Georgia Department of Transportation for the usage of traffic light cameras. The city reportedly obtained the necessary permission from Georgia Power to mount those cameras onto light poles for the time being. Until APD receives DOT approval, the cameras will only be used for tag reading.

Chief Strickland closed with a statement that he would continue looking into grants for the city’s police force.

Back in February, Adrian Police Department received a $6,000 grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to equip police vehicles with all new computers, printers, and hardware—at no cost to taxpayers.

Suzanne Hutchinson, on behalf of the safety department, informed mayor and fellow council members a meeting was held June 30 to address working in the heat. Hutchinson also stated she had inspected buildings recently.

Closing out department reports, Love gave an update on the amount of money raised to renovate the concession stands at the recreation department. Enough funds have been received to redo the cabinets and install a hot water line. The Hinton House, Love continued, donated a number of lockers to be used inside the stand as well. On that note, Julie Griffin thanked Debbie Meadows for helping with the fundraising event in her absense.

Council members were then each given the floor to deliver miscellaneous comments. Only three—Love, Brown, and Mayor Smith—had comments to contribute at that time.

Love reported the recreation department’s next event would be a trunk-or-treat Halloween celebration on Sunday, October 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. She also informed the group about the rec department’s upcoming participation in a Back the Blue event in collaboration with APD in November.

Brown gave an update from a citizen who asked a pavilion be added to the city park. In response, Love stated the rec department hopes to raise more money to be able to purchase one in the future.

Mayor Smith then reported she had spoken with DOT about the potholes underneath the city’s red-light. DOT responded by saying crews would resurface the area in the future.

Mayor and council also entertained a brief executive session for the purpose of real estate and consulting with legal counsel. Minutes from the meeting do not indicate any action was taken.

In other meeting news:

• Zelda Sumner was listed on the agenda as a public speaker but did not attend.

• The meeting began with a workshop at 5:30, and Mayor Smith called the business session to order at 6 p.m. Hutchinson delivered the invocation, the assembled recited the Pledge of Allegiance in unison, and council, by way of unanimous votes, adopted the night’s agenda as well as the minutes from the June 14 meeting.

The group adjourned at around 6:45. Adrian City Council and Mayor Smith will next convene August 9, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. inside the annex on Nora Boulevard.

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