By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Four Atmore City Council members swept through an unusually long agenda during their November 13 meeting.
The panel, sitting without District 4’s Shawn Lassiter and District 2’s Jerome Webster, approved engineering and administrative agreements that will clear the way to improve drainage in the city’s northeastern quadrant, a contract that will provide a new operator for the local airport, and the purchases of a $640,000 fire truck and two new vehicles.
The drainage improvement resolutions are the first steps in alleviating the flooding that occurs in the areas of Brown Street, Sims Street, Thompson Street and the portion of Maxwell Street from Brooks Lane to Liberty Street. After District 5’s Chris Harrison asked about the project, Streets and Sanitation Department Director Calvin Grace said the improvements would include installation of new culverts and drains.
City Clerk Becca Smith said funding for the project will be provided by a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant the city has been awarded.
The four council members then approved a contract between the city and Sky Warriors Flight Training for operation and management of Atmore Municipal Airport, where several new hangars are currently under construction.
Mayor Jim Staff said after the meeting the group would also recruit and train pilots, aircraft mechanics and airframe specialists from local high schools.
Also approved was the purchase of two Ford Explorers — one for the mayor, one for the chief of police — from the state bid list at a total cost of $59,333.
The final purchase of the meeting was the biggest. The council members gave the green light to the purchase for $640,000 of a pumper engine for Atmore fire Department. Pumpers are used to carry extra hoses and tools, but their primary purpose is to carry water that can be pumped into other fire suppression vehicles.
“The one we’ve got is worn out,” said Staff. “It’s costing more in repairs than it’s worth.”