Council votes 4-2 to put Spears on Utility Board

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DORA — The Dora City Council voted 4-2 with two abstentions to fill a vacancy on the Dora Utility Board in Thursday night’s meeting, naming Councilman Randy Spears.

McArthur Sargent has been on the utility board for the last six years, and his term expires on June 30. Sargent has decided not to accept another term, so it’s left to the Dora city council to fill the vacancy.

As soon as Mayor Randy Stephens opened the floor for nominations, Councilman Marion Combs nominated Hezikiah Walker. Chris Edwards, who holds a seat on the utility board, nominated Spears. Councilman Arthur Lee Taylor seconded Combs’ nomination of Walker.

It took Stephens a moment to decide on how to proceed with the process. He decided to address one motion at a time, and since Walker’s nomination was first, it was the first to be considered. In a roll call vote, the only two to vote in favor of Walker was Combs and Taylor. Spears abstained.

When the council then voted on Spears’ nomination, Edwards and Spears abstained, Combs and Taylor voted no. Voting in favor of Spears was Stephens and Councilmen Clyde Nix, Phillip Ballenger and Gary Thomas.

Stephens said both Edwards and Spears would have to be re-elected in the upcoming municipal elections to hold their seats on the utility board past Nov. 1.

In other action, the council:

• Approved the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance, which lays out guidance on addressing areas within the city limits prone to flooding. The ordinance provides information and puts in place procedures for projects in flood areas, according to City Clerk SuLeigh Warren, who worked with Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives to word the ordinance.

Warren further explained that without the ordinance, residents would not be able to purchase flood insurance. Most of the areas susceptible to flooding are near Horse Creek, according to Stephens.

• Heard two requests from the city’s golf course. The council voted to agree with a request to allow the golf course to pay off the golf cart bank loan. The $33,169 would come out of the golf course fund.

The second request was to raise the golfers’ rate to play a round of golf at Horse Creek Golf Course. The last rate increase was around 17 years ago, according to course manager Don Cummings.

The flyover video posted earlier in the spring caught the attention of golfers from around the state, and there has been an uptick in golfers who are not local, according to Cummings.

The comments that Cummings frequently hears is that they love the course and that it’s cheap to play. According to Stephens, a $2 increase in golf fees would help offset the rising costs of everything associated with maintaining the course. After a discussion on whether the rate should be more, the council agreed to the $2 increase effective on July 13.

• Heard Stephens report that the city continues to have problems with the garbage truck’s emission system, which is frustrating.

When Stephens reached out to Sumiton for assistance, Mayor Petey Ellis stepped up, according to Stephens. “He told me that anytime we needed a truck to call him and he would send a truck and driver over. Sumiton has cooperated in a great way. They’ve bailed us out the last two weeks, so I want to thank the City of Sumiton,” he said.