City hires tax collection agency

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In an effort to save money and earn money for the city, Demopolis City Council voted unanimously on Thursday for Avenu Insights & Analytics to collect taxes on accommodation, rental and of sale.

The company will also collect fees from companies that set up in Demopolis but have never paid for a license.

At the last council meeting, Avenu representative Audrey Freeman estimated that the city could save nearly $ 50,000 from what it is currently billed. Mayor Woody Collins said the proposal was particularly attractive because there is no long-term contract. Avenu will serve the city during the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

Council accepted an offer to purchase land at 514 S. Front St. for $ 2,800. The future owner plans to build a house on the site. The sale price covers the cost to the city of demolition and maintenance of the asset.

Phase two of the paving project in the city got the nod from Council after reviewing the list of additional roads to be paved if money remained.

The first phase of the project saw 39 streets of Demopolis repaved. The second phase adds 16 more streets, and these are among the roads that require the most construction.

Councilor Nathan Hardy said residents of the French Creek area have requested the installation of nine street lights. Black Warrior Electric Coop. will charge $ 9 per month for erection and maintenance of light poles. The Council voted unanimously to get the enlightenment.

Will Collins, representing the Liberty Learning Foundation, asked the city for $ 1,500 for the annual 10-week civic education course. The group typically works with second graders at Westside Elementary and fifth graders like US Jones Elementary. Due to the pandemic, only USJ students will be part of the program this year. Collins said the cost of the program was $ 7,200, money from donations and contributions. The Council awarded him $ 1,000.

The lingering problem of untreated sewage behind Richard Fountain’s house will soon be resolved. At the last council meeting, it was reported that the source of the problem had been located, and homeowners had until Jan. 28 to correct it or shut off their water. Inspectors found a plumber on site on that date and extended the deadline to 10 days.

In another action, the Board approved the financial statements for December 2020, the budget for 2020-2021, and a request from Demopolis Fire and Rescue to request a non-matching grant to replace the old equipment.

City Councilor David McCants said better lighting is needed on US Hwy. 80 W, but Alabama Power’s early estimates were $ 380,000. Council members said the city will likely have to apply for a grant to pay for the new lighting.

City Councilor Charles Jones Jr. asked City Project Manager Mike Baker to see how to improve the dangerous Cedar Street divide between Lyon and Monroe.


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