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City plans economic development forum

Monday’s Luverne city council meeting consisted of plans being made and agendas moved forward, beginning with a presentation from South Central Alabama Development Commission.

Tracy Delaney, a representative of the SCADC, proposed a joint one-day workshop to the council for the purposes of gathering input from citizens, department heads and city officials in mapping and planning Luverne’s long-term economic future.

During the council meeting, Delaney heard input and concerns from nearly all of the city’s department heads and spoke to the council on what value the workshop and partnership with the SCADC could offer.

Following approval of the SCADC workshop, the council returned to a discussion from a previous meeting – a lease agreement with Verizon Wireless for property use for utilities.

City attorney Michael Jones said Verizon had offered to pay a flat fee on a six-month option before officially entering into a lease in order to set up equipment.

Next, the council returned to another previous discussion surrounding tax audits.

Essentially, the council has been mulling over moving from Revenue Discovery Systems (RDS) to the state Department of Revenue to lower auditing costs.

Jones determined that there would be some savings in moving to the Department of Revenue, but councilman Edward Billings suggested speaking to City Hall workers to determine if the costs in labor would outweigh the savings.

Councilman Charlie Johnson agreed, suggesting weighing “quality of service” alongside financial savings (which would total around $275) before making the move. RDS had previously charged a 1.8 percent fee, which was eventually lowered to 1.4 percent.

The discussion was tabled to allow for further investigation.

In new business, an alcohol license application for “The Goal Post” owned by Pete Hall passed.

The final matter involved Halloween, which will fall on Wednesday, Oct. 31, and scheduling for trick-or-treating. Concern lie in the fact that the activities might interfere with Wednesday night church, causing a smaller turnout, and that moving it to Tuesday the 30 would overlap with junior varsity football.

Despite concerns, the council agreed to leave the city’s Halloween schedule unchanged, staying on Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m.

The next city council meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 24.