City Council meeting, Jan. 5, 2015

Homewood City CouncilTransit funding rolls along in this first meeting of the new year with a special Finance Committee work-session called this Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 4 p.m., in the second floor committee room to discuss funding with BJCTA officials. BJCTA held its own special meeting about Homewood business earlier today.

Also of note–Applications are being taken until Jan. 23 for a Ward 3 park board seat, with two applications submitted so far (see below); A totaled police vehicle is addressed; A member is appointed to a mysterious Medical Clinic Board; and almost no one dares disturb the meeting’s brevity with long post-agenda announcements.

Members present: Michael Hallman, Britt Thames, Vance Moody, Patrick McClusky, Walter Jones, Barry Smith, Heather Reid, Richard Laws, and council president Bruce Limbaugh. Mayor Scott McBrayer was also present.

Members absent: Fred Hawkins and Peter Wright

Staff present: City clerk Linda Cook, city attorney Mike Kendrick, and mayor’s chief of staff J. J. Bischoff.

Audience attendance: 8

Approved minutes of the Nov. 3, 2014, council meeting.

Appointed a member to the Medical Clinic Board: The council approved the appointment of Marco Gonzalez to the 3-member Medical Clinic Board. Mr. Gonzalez, who was in the audience, said after the meeting that he is in the health care construction business and isn’t sure what the clinic board does.

Closed application for Ward 3 park board position: The council agreed to close the open application period for the Ward 3 seat currently held by Paula Smalley. Ms. Smalley has applied for reappointment; however, she is recovering from serious injuries sustained in a hit-and-run incident in late December. As of tonight, the only other applicant is Planning Commission member Fred Azbik, according to the city’s website.

Set a Jan. 26, 2014, public hearing to consider a zoning ordinance amendment: This amendment would affect a plan to redevelop the former Mountain Brook Inn site for a high-rise hotel, office building and parking deck under C-4(b) High Rise Office/Commercial zoning. The amendment will allow hotels/motels to the list of permitted uses.

Set a Jan. 26, 2014, bid opening for police vehicle equipment: The bid opening is at 5 p.m. before the council meeting.

Approved amendments to FY2014-15 budget, with abstention: The changes involve unspecified outstanding encumbrances from the previous year.

Abstaining: Mr. Hallman, saying after the meeting that one of the amendments is $75,118 for a West Oxmoor Road design project, for which his employer is the engineering design firm.

Committee Referral

This agenda refers new matters to relevant committees for discussion, as follows:

To Finance –  To consider replacing a 2010 police car that was totaled; and to consider additional funding for transit. [Committee chairman Walter Jones later called a special committee work session for Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 4 p.m., specifically to meet with transit authorities over public transportation funding.]

To Public Safety – To consider an additional street light near 505 Devon Drive.

Other new business

Authorized the city attorney to negotiate a lease renewal at City Hall: Mr. Kendrick will negotiate a renewal with third-floor tenant Hamilton Mortgage.

Paid the bills: Invoices were approved to be paid for the period Dec. 15, 2014-Jan. 2, 2015.

Announcements:  The $2,000 half-page ad approved last month for the trade journal Business Alabama magazine has been upgraded to a full-page ad. Ms. Smith, who made the announcement, will be the copywriter.

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