City completes Phase II of ACE program

By RON HARRIS, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 3/8/17

Jasper City Council members learned Tuesday morning the city has completed Phase II of its strategic five-year plan as part of the Alabama Communities of Excellence program.

With the completion of Phase II, the city was accepted into Phase III of the plan, which calls for the city to adopt a three-year implementation plan and a comprehensive planning process.

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City completes Phase II of ACE program

Posted

Jasper City Council members learned Tuesday morning the city has completed Phase II of its strategic five-year plan as part of the Alabama Communities of Excellence program.

With the completion of Phase II, the city was accepted into Phase III of the plan, which calls for the city to adopt a three-year implementation plan and a comprehensive planning process.

According to its website, the purpose of the Alabama Communities of Excellence program is “to offer a systematic approach with the necessary technical resources and tools to help Alabama’s small cities promote growth and prosperity by focusing on their distinctive assets and resources. ACE understands the uniqueness of each community, recognizing that every city has different assets, values, concerns and priorities.”

Established in 2002, Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides technical assistance to select communities with populations ranging from 2,000 to 18,000 in an effort to strengthen long-term economic success. Through a comprehensive, three-phase approach, ACE uses the collective expertise of its partner organizations — ranging from state agencies and associations to banks, utilities, universities and others — to foster unique community development programs.

Tana Collins, a former city public information director who’s now working at Bevill State Community College, is the local ACE coordinator.

Among the issues that will be addressed in Phase III of the program are the problems of substance abuse in the city, the economic impact of housing, and industrial site development and recruitment to the city.

Following completion of Phase III, the city will be designated an Alabama Community of Excellence.

In other business, council members:

•approved parade permits for:

— a Hats and Horses Derby Day, set for May 6.

— the annual Simmons at Sunset 5K run, set for May 12 beginning at T.R. Simmons Elementary School.

— a Ridez for a Reason car show, set for May 13.

— an EASI Rodeo Dance, planned for June 15.

•renewed contracts for repairs to street lighting and fuel services, and a request to send out bid invitations for trophies and awards for the city’s parks and recreation departments.

•approved a request to purchase a track loader for the streets department.

•approved travel for an instructor to attend a certification training program for the Swimming Saves Lives program.

•approved travel for two police dispatchers to attend a training conference set for March 14-15 in Montgomery.

•accepted a skid unit donated to the city’s fire department and funds donated to purchase bedding for the department.

•approved a request to proceed with vacation of 7th Avenue from 17th Street West to its dead end.

•adopted a resolution to vacate a portion of 8th Avenue between 16th Street and 17th Street West, and 17th Street West from an alley west to 8th Avenue.

•introduced an ordinance to rezone a 1.7-acre piece of land at the corner of West Ridgewood Road and Highway 257 from R-1 (single family residential) to B-2 (community service) in order to place a business selling vehicles on the property.

•introduced an ordinance to amend a video services agreement with AT&T.

•adopted an ordinance to approve a business license for Transportation Network Companies such as Uber and Lyft. The license fee will be set at $500 a year.

•heard from Mayor David O’Mary, who said a town hall meeting for residents in District 5 held Monday gave residents a chance to express their concerns with the city and learn more about the city and its operations. “It really was a great gathering,” O’Mary said, adding that he recommended other council members follow suit with similar open forum-type events.