The Elba City Council met Monday evening, May 13, with Mayor Pro Tem Jane Brunson leading the session in the absence of Mayor Mickey Murdock. During her report to council members, assistant city clerk Pat Boothe noted the archeological digs that had been underway on potential flood buyout properties, as required by the FEMA process, were finished. She said the contractors handling the digs found three spots where collected data was sent off to be studied further. These spots included two on Smith Avenue and one on the Samson Highway, according to Boothe. With these digs now completed, Boothe said hopefully the FEMA buyout process from the 2015 December flood would begin to move forward again and bring some relief to citizens impacted by it. Boothe said a project at the Elba airport adding six new hangers to the airport facility is nearing completion. She said there already is a waiting list on use of the new hangers. The assistant city clerk also noted the Elba Splash Pad is set to open for the season on Saturday, May 25th. She said recreation director Greg Hanchey is working hard on getting things ready for this much-anticipated opening of the aquatic recreation facility, which is located at Tiger Town Park in downtown Elba. Elba Police Chief Leslie Hussey reported a “fairly uneventful couple of weeks” for his department. He said the main thing going on with the police department lately has been preparation and work on the dispatch center remodel. The main work and transfer is scheduled for next week, according to the police chief. He said services would not be affected during that time as a plan will be put in motion to keep the center up and running while the new workspace is being remodeled. “The remodel should not affect dispatch in any way,” he said. “It will just be aggravating and crowded for our workers for a few days as they are moved into a smaller room while work is ongoing in the dispatch center.” Hussey said he would be happy when this work is completed and done, but he is definitely looking forward to the improvements it will bring the dispatch center to better assist the community and law officials. Council members affirmed a proclamation Monday evening that had been signed by Mayor Murdock. This proclamation recognizes this week, May 13 – May 18, at Nursing Home Week. In the proclamation, Mayor Murdock noted that “citizens of Elba now residing in the nursing homes have contributed immeasurably to the heritage, success and growth of our community.” He also urged all citizens to honor the elderly and disabled residents of nursing homes by visiting or volunteering to bring community spirit to the residents. During nursing home week, member nursing homes of the American Health Association, including the Elba Nursing and Rehab Center, are holding events in observation of the special time for them. The Elba Nursing Home plans to conclude its week-long list of activities for residents with an annual fishing trip to the Coffee County Lake on Friday morning, May 17th. After many, many discussions on a new personnel handbook for city employees, council members officially approved the new handbook, a working document, during Monday evening’s meeting. The council members also approved a social media policy for employees. “I want to express my appreciation to all at city hall who have worked on this [personnel handbook] a lot,” council member Brunson said. She said a lot of time and effort went in to getting this ready for council members to review, makes changes, and prepare it for approval, and she wanted the city hall employees to know that their hard work did not go unnoticed. Council members said city employees would receive a copy of the new handbook for review, and employees would be asked to sign an agreement to follow the policies of the handbook after review. Monday evening’s council meeting also included the approval of bills for the month of April, which totaled $197,364.50. Due to the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 27, council members agreed to meet Tuesday, May 28, for their second required meeting for May 2019. This meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. and the Water and Electric Board will meeting immediately following the council that Tuesday night.

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