Council to resume operations; meetings to be held in council chambers

The Rainsville City Council discussed going back to holding meetings in the council chambers starting in June during Monday night’s meeting.

The regularly scheduled meeting was held via a conference call due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are planning on going back in on June 1,” said Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt.

He said Monday’s meeting would be the last conference call type meeting that would be held unless something drastic changed.

As they resumed holding meetings in the council chamber to stay safe, Lingerfelt said they might have to limit the number of people according to how large the attendance is.

The council also discussed the 2020 Freedom Fest and their opinions regarding the possibility of still having it on June 27.

Councilman Derek Rosson said several people had asked him about where they stood regarding this year’s Freedom Fest activities.

He said people have asked since the flea markets are opened why they couldn’t continue forward with the festival.

“I said, ‘Well, first and foremost, we want to make sure everybody is safe’,” said Rosson.

The councilmen and the mayor agreed they are on board to go ahead with the original date. However, they are waiting to research all protocols set by Gov. Kay Ivey before moving forward.

“I am for it, I just want to make sure we are not breaking any laws,” Lingerfelt said.

Byrum said they have 80 acres of land to work with to implement social distancing.

Councilman Bejan Taheri said the 80 acres would be plenty of distance for them to follow the guidelines, including the six feet apart distancing rule.

Editor's Note: The Rainsville City Council met Friday afternoon to discuss the 2020 Freedom Fest after Gov. Kay Ivey held a press conference Thursday to announce an amended “Stay at Home Order”. Look for more information in an upcoming edition of The Times-Journal.

Byrum congratulated the class of 2020 throughout the county and touched on the turn of events that impacted the ending of the year for seniors.

“My heart goes out to all the graduates throughout the county. I just want to congratulate them on the job they have done,” he said.

Lingerfelt echoed Byrum’s sentiments saying the students put in a lot of effort and their “graduation is a big stepping stone in their lives.”

The council also heard updates from the following departments and councilmen:

Lingerfelt provided the council with an update on the Boozer Bridge construction project stating although the construction was hindered by the amount of rain and flood this year, they are “moving along really good.”

Councilman Brandon Freeman gave an update regarding the opening of the Rainsville City swimming pool, saying he had been in contact with officials from other cities who said they had the okay to open June 1.

He said he would further discuss the matter with Rainsville Fire Chief Willimac Wright and Lingerfelt.

“If we are going to be able to do that, we may have to limit the number. We just need to come up with a plan,” said Freeman.

Rainsville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sandy Goff said on behalf of the chamber, she would like to say it has been “great” seeing a lot of their local businesses and restaurants reopening this week.

“I know it has been a challenge for them with the restrictions, but they are hanging in there and I want everybody to support them and be patient with them as they go through this because this is not easy for them either,” she said.

Regarding the Freedom Fest, Goff said right now, they are “really” pushing it to get things set up with vendors. She said, the quicker a decision is made, the faster she can get the “ball rolling.”

Goff also announced there are 13 Plainview High School recipients of the Rainsville Chamber of Commerce 2020 Scholarships. She said they would all be posted on the chamber’s Facebook page.

Rainsville Library Director Sarah Cruce said they are continuing to offer curbside service until June 1 for those who wish to check out materials. They also have a computer in their lobby that is available for use via appointment. She said a modified reading program for this summer would be posted on the library’s Facebook page, hoping to start on June 1.

The council also: 

• approved Resolution 05-18-2020 (A), Municipal Water Pollution Prevention Program for the Wastewater Treatment Plan. The resolution has to be submitted to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management Water Division yearly along with an annual report. The paperwork states that the report has been reviewed and the WWTP is in compliance and maintaining effluent requirements.

• approved the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday Resolution 05-18-2020 (B) set to commence at 12 a.m. Friday July 17, 2020 and end at midnight on Sunday July 19.

• approved the Tax Revenue Enhancement Agreement with Avenue Insights & Analytics, collect the city sales taxes and business license discovery and recovery services.

• approved the placement of one culvert on Grimes Street and two culverts on Church Street in Rainsville. Including the digging of ditches and placing of pipes to ready the road for paving with cost estimated the cost at $10,000.00.

• approved the Berry & Dunn Copier Lease Agreement. The rental agreement is good through 2024.

The next council meeting is scheduled for June 1, 2020, with a workshop at 4:15 p.m. and a regular session at 5 p.m.

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