During the Elba City Council meeting held Monday evening, March 22, city clerk Sally Bane had a lengthy list of announcements for council members.
A really big and unexpected announcement was that of an estate donation made to two city entities.
Bane said the Elba Public Library and Evergreen Cemetery Board had been designated as beneficiaries of the Estate of Catherine Brunson Luening. She said the library and cemetery board would be receiving approximately $400,000 each from that estate.
Bane said the city was working now to facilitate how best to get those monies into annuity accounts for the library and cemetery board.
Bane also noted the Pittman Foundation had made a donation to TigerTown Park. She said Elba Parks and Recreation director Greg Hanchey was looking to replace some swing seats at that playground with monies from the donation.
While on the subject of parks and recreation, Bane said youth baseball and softball was in full swing with practices. She said games would begin the week after Easter.
The city clerk extended a huge thanks from the city to Troy Regional Medical Center for providing a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Elba last Saturday. She said due to Troy Regional, somewhere between 150-160 people received the first of two COVID-19 vaccine shots.
Troy Regional staff will return to Elba on April 10th to administer the second shot to those who received the first vaccine shot last Saturday.
Bane also thanked Enterprise Rescue, all the volunteers for the clinic, Dorsey Trailers for providing lunch, and Elba Church of Christ for providing a facility to host the vaccine clinic.
The city clerk said the month of April is shaping up to be a busy month in Elba.
On Thursday, April 1, the LBW Community College Ensemble will be in concert on the square in downtown Elba. This free community concert is set to begin at approximately 7 p.m. Also, on Sunday, April 18, at 3 p.m., the Southeast Alabama Community Band will entertain with a free concert, also on the square in downtown Elba.
Bane said the new Annie’s restaurant is planning to open in Elba on Monday, April 12, while the O’Reilly’s Auto Parts store is planning to open Friday, April 16th. Ribbon cuttings are set for each.
The Elba Chamber of Commerce will host the April Walking Tours – Downtown Elba tour on Saturdays, April 3 and April 10. These tours begin at 10 a.m. from the Elba Chamber office on Putnam Street.
Friday, April 23, is World Book Day. On this day, every child that goes to the Elba Public Library will receive a free book. Also, any child that does not already have a library card and gets one on April 23rd, his/her name will be placed into a drawing for a gift card.
Saturday, April 24, will be Don’t Drop It on Elba day. This community cleanup project is sponsored by the Elba Chamber. Anyone wanting to sign a group up to participate should contact the Elba Chamber office at (334) 897-3125.
Bane said the street department had begun cutting grass, and there is plenty of grass to cut. Also, she said the employees had been spraying ant beds on the levee and would begin, in the next week or so, the seasonal spraying to combat the mosquito population in Elba
Code enforcement officer Bryson Dear also provided an update from his office during Monday evening’s council meeting.
Regarding the FEMA flood buyout project, he said 18 homes had been purchased with demolitions completed on 16 of those. He said city employees demolished nine and seven were demolished by a contractor due to asbestos issues.
Dear said appraisals had been received on the latest 10 homes added to the project. He said these would pretty much conclude all the owner-occupied structures for the project, and the process would next move into rental properties.
Dear said the code enforcement office currently has 18 active property maintenance cases, which is down substantially compared to past dates. However, he said there would be potential for those cases to go back up some in the Spring as that always seems to be a trend.
Dear did say he had made it a priority of his to get some older cases closed, and he had made some good progress with that.
Dear said there are 25 unsafe structures currently on his list, bringing the total for open code enforcement cases to 43. On a good note, he said the numbers had brought the case closure rate up by over 7 percent since June 2020.
Also during his report, Dear noted that the council had been provided an updated flood plain ordinance to review. He said this is something the state is requiring, but it is not a major change for Elba. The council is anticipated to vote on the new flood plain ordinance at the next meeting.