The Elba City Council meeting Monday evening, Nov. 26, was limited to passing a fire department resolution, reviewing the financials and a couple of uneventful updates from the Chief of Police Leslie Hussey and Assistant City Clerk, Pat Boothe. Hussey noted the usual pickup in holiday season police activity and gave sketchy details about a male subject found recently in a roadside ditch in the Mulberry Heights area. He said the man was hospitalized with his injuries but no arrests have been made. The chief indicated the man has so far declined to press charges or even indicate how he ended up in the ditch, bleeding heavily. Council members were heard to utter positive mummers when Boothe announced that the second of the annual multi-year purchase of new garbage containers were on order and should be arriving soon. The council approved a resolution allowing the Elba Fire Department to develop about four acres of city owned property just off Airport Road (behind the National Guard Armory) into a training facility for firefighters. The department plans to develop the facility over the next five years. The council also authorized the Mayor Mickey Murdock to get an official survey of the property before the firemen begin installing fencing around the area. Murdock gave an update of the financial status of the City of Elba and noted the fiscal year is off to a good start with the general fund showing a financial bounce of $27,000 during the first month of the year. The report also reflected the release of $200,000 reserve funds from the recently refinanced bond issue. This money can be used for certain municipal projects, but is not part of the general fund. The city has already used $23,728 of this fund to purchase a Street Department truck. Two new police cars have been ordered and one is already paid for from city funds. Regular income shows that sales taxes for the month of October are up about a thousand dollars from the same period last year. Garbage fees are also up slightly. Building permits are not a major source of income for Elba, but are up slightly compared to last year. Murdock said city residents should be prepared for an increase in sewer fees later this year. The amount and timing will be based on state and federal officials and will be factored on the cost of repaying the massive multi-million dollar 40-year sewer rehab loan. Council members were informed of several upcoming events. James Baldwin would be feted with a retirement party on Wednesday of this week, the Elba Christmas Parade is December 3rd, the City Christmas party will be held on December 5th, a council workshop is set for this Thursday at 6 p.m. and as is tradition, the two (2) required monthly council meetings will be held on December 10th – one immediately following the other.

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