The Fort Payne City Council on Tuesday approved two appropriations, totaling $3,000 to offset the costs of two Fort Payne High School programs.

Council President Brian Baine said $1,000 was requested for the high school band program and $2,000 was requested for the high school basketball program.

“Steve Sparks, representing the Fort Payne High School, has requested a $2,000 appropriation to the Fort Payne High School Basketball program to help offset the cost of the annual Wills Valley Shoot-Out Basketball Tournament,” Baine said. “The Fort Payne High School Winter Guard has requested a $1,000 appropriation to help offset the cost of participating in competitions.”

Fort Payne City Clerk Andy Parker said those appropriations come up each year and that the council approved them last year as well.

Councilman Johnny Eberhart made the motion to honor the request for the funds and Councilwoman Lynn Brewer seconded it.

Baine said investing in the city’s youth is advantageous to all parties involved.

“The one [appropriation] for the basketball team is something the council does every year to help with those expense,” he said. “We just feel like pouring into the lives of our youth here in Fort Payne is a win-win for everybody.”

Baine announced that Christmas in the Fort Payne City Park will be Dec. 6. The event will kick off by lighting the tree at 4:45 p.m. and Santa Clause will make his appearance at 5.

• Ordinance 2019-44, accepting the low bid for a skid steer mulching unit, did not pass. Only one bid was received and City Clerk Andy Parker said it was received after the deadline. The council agreed to reject and resubmit bids for the equipment.

The council also heard updates from Fort Payne Mayor Larry Chesser. Chesser reminded the council of the discussion of Bill 183 by Freda Waters from the last council meeting. The council agreed to wait for City Attorney Rocky Watson to review the resolution before making any decisions regarding it.

Chesser also made mention of citizens expressing their concerns regarding an ordinance the city passed a decade ago.

In 2009, the city passed ordinance 09-03, regarding old, abandoned vehicles in the city limits. Chesser suggested the ordinance be “streamlined.” Watson said the issue with the old, abandoned vehicles was one the council “struggled with in ‘09” and that he would “take a look at it.”

Chesser also made the council aware of concerns citizens have expressed to him regarding Bellefonte, an unfinished nuclear power plant in Scottsboro.

“This is just a mater of information, but people ask about the Bellefonte plant over in Scottsboro and what the status of that is, etcetera,” he said. “I attended a TVA meeting a few weeks ago and they talked about that.”

Chesser said when Bellefonte sold, it sold for $110 million. He said the sale could not be complete because legal obligations were not met in a certain period of time. He said the buyers fought back and took it to court, which is where it is now.

Chesser said even if Bellefonte was completed, it isn’t needed because TVA’s “power load is level” as power is maintained through other means. He said because of this, it is likely the nuclear plant will remain as-is for quite some time.

“They see no indication that they will need any additional power increases in the next 10 years,” he said. “Consequently, they don’t plan on updating any of their plants.”

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