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Demopolis City Council discusses ongoing problem of trucks on Walnut Avenue

The March 4 Demopolis City Council meeting began with discussions on trucks traveling along Walnut Avenue instead of the designated truck route.

City project manager Mike Baker spoke with the Department of Transportation and presented the council with possible solutions. Some suggestions include increasing the size of the “No trucks” signs already on Hwy. 43. Digital signs were also a suggestion, but Baker said that the signs would cause too much distraction for highway traffic. However, Baker said the only permanent solution is enforcement.

Police Chief Rex Flowers spoke next and said that the city was not allowed to post a sign on the Hwy. 80 and Walnut Avenue intersection without permission from the state. He said that a truck driver recently made the turn onto Walnut Avenue before noticing the “No trucks” and was unable to turn back onto the highway.

“There needs to be something there to tell them to keep going straight,” said Flowers. “By the time they turn and see the sign, they’ve already committed at that point.”

Mayor Woody Collins asked Baker to look into obtaining permission to put a sign at the intersection.

Collins then moved on to discussions about placing speed bumps on streets where speeding is a problem. He said he has received several requests after recent paving projects filled in potholes on roads. Cars are traveling faster through residential areas, and residents are growing concerned about potential accidents.

“I’m looking for the council’s input on this issue. I personally am not a strong advocate of speed bumps on every street in Demopolis,” said Collins. “I’m more for education and less policing.”

Collins said the equipment to check the water in the ditch behind Richard Fountain’s home. He said he would make a report on what is found. Baker is still working to cover the ditch.

Fountain has been battling sewage problems in a ditch behind his home for over two decades. The council has recently found that the sewage problem originated from a home in the neighborhood near Gaineswood. The homeowner has had a plumber fix the broken pipes, and the city is now looking to cover the ditch once new water samples are taken.

At the last council meeting, the council put in bids for replacing the roof of the fire station at 306 Hwy 80 W. The council voted to re-bid when the bid came out higher than expected.

Collins said that the city was going to use money from the CARES Relief Fund to make renovations to the National Guard Armory where Whitfield Regional Hospital is distributing COVID-19 vaccinations. He said the application was denied because the city did not own the title to the armory.

“We only have three weeks to have a shovel-ready, engineered project ready to use this money,” said Collins.

Collins said he approached the hospital and asked them to carve out a project for $125,000 to repave the parking lot at the armory. The hospital agreed to submit a paving project for funding.

Items approved by the council:

Approved disposing surplus property from the Civic Center

The next Demopolis City Council meeting will be held on Thursday March, 18 at 5:15 p.m.