Georgiana council member expresses concern over city spending

Published 3:11 pm Friday, March 9, 2012

Georgiana City Council member Byron Ward wants to make sure officials keep a close eye on the city’s pocketbook.

At Tuesday’s monthly council meeting, Ward expressed concern with the amount of money the city is considering spending on a paving projects and the possible purchase of property associated with the old Georgiana High School.

The city is planning on spending about $60,000 on paving projects. Mayor Mike Middleton proposed spending $100,000 to get $500,000 worth of paving done in the city by matching funds with the Alabama Department of Transportation.

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“One of the things that’s on it this time is paving streets and it has to be the main streets,” Middleton said. “It’s 80/20. They’ll give you 80 percent and you pay 20 percent.”

Middleton said in order for Georgiana o be considered for the first round of projects, its request must be filed by March 29.

“If you don’t get your stuff in, you have until September. The ones that get it in this month that don’t get funded, you’ll be on the top of the list in September,” he said.

Ward expressed his concerns with the possibility of spending money on the paving project, and the possibility of purchasing buildings from the old Georgiana High School property.

“I know we have been going on this for close to four years now,” Ward said. “I know originally that we had discussed exchanging the property. It was the city’s plan to take over that band building as a city hall. The more I get to thinking about this, or even talking tonight, we’re sitting around talking about spending $200,000 for paving, and I think about buying a building that might cost us an arm and leg. … My concern is (that it is) fiscally irresponsible to take on these buildings for city hall when we don’t need it. We need roads fixed and roads paved.”

In other business, the council will vote next month on the possibility of purchasing two used police cars at the cost of approximately $20,000.