Mayor Randy Stephens asked the council to pay the legal fees to have the title and deed transferred to the city from the Walker County Board of Education. The council agreed to approve up to $300 for the transfer costs.
Stephens said the city should receive the keys to the building in a few weeks, once all the equipment is removed from the old school.
The council has been looking at possible solutions for the damaged, aging Armory for several months, after the city’s insurance company dropped the building from coverage and demanded the city vacate, due to numerous potential hazards to employees.
Stephens said he has asked for prices to demolish the building and put up a metal building for the street department, as well as prices to repair the building, but has not gathered all the estimates the council would like.
Stephens asked for help from the council in soliciting the estimates.
The council has largely been opposed to removing the building, wanting to preserve the history of the building, as well as the space for the street department. Some council members have even expressed a willingness to spend a little more to preserve the building.
“It’s going to be bigger and more of a substantial building, and, also, there are lots of people in the city that want us to maintain the building,” council member Richard Lovelady said. He said he had received a phone call this week from a resident who was almost in tears at the thought of the building being torn down.
No action was taken on the armory until all the estimates are received.
In other business, the council:
•approved the purchase of two commercial-grade weed eaters for the street department.
•approved the purchase of a backup generator for the city’s fire department to replace the existing one that needs extensive repairs.
• heard from City Clerk Marcy Brown that the city had been awarded a tree grant from Alabama Power to improve the appearance of the front of city hall.
• approved the use of the city park for a Gospel Fest on Oct. 18.
• approved the use of the city park for a picnic to wrap up an area youth revival.
• approved the purchase of materials to repair and repave Rising Star Baptist Church Road. The county is supplying the manpower and equipment for the repairs.