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Valley Council addresses issues with property, engineering

VALLEY — On Monday, the Valley City Council approved resolutions to take care of an unforeseen issue in a recent property purchase, approved a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, involving renting a communications tower, and entering into a contract with Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood for engineering services with some sewer and water line work.

The issue with the property sale involves around 300 acres of land off Fob James Drive that was recently purchased from Burney Farm, LLC. In the original sale, around nine acres were donated in exchange for an IRS tax deduction of $109,000.

Both parties were in agreement with that but the IRS was not. IRS regulations require that “the value of a gift be established by competent evidence.” This was done because the nine-acre site was a wetlands area and is distinct from the remaining part of the land being sold. The parties have not been able to get an appraisal of the site.

The amendment approved by the council would speed up consummation of the sale.

According to the amendment, if the appraisal equals or exceeds $108,000 no further action is needed by the buyer. Should it fall below $108,000, the buyer would that amount up to $108,000 to the seller.

Police Chief Tommy Weldon explained the memo involving renting tower use. The tower being used for communications purposes is located on Harmon Road in n0rthwest Harris County. The tower ideally serves the emergency communications needs for a number of entities including Chambers County 911 and Valley.

“Every public safety organization in Chambers County is in the same situation with us,” Weldon said.

It’s better for all these organizations to go together with a flat rate rather than rent tower used on a one-on-one basis. The agreed rental fee is $1800 for the county as a whole. Valley’s share breaks down to $214.97 a month. The contract is good for five years with a three percent increase figured in each year.

The resolution that was approved authorizes Mayor Leonard Riley to sign the contract on behalf of the city.

The contract with Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood includes the design and bidding phases for the water and sewer line work needed for the John Soules Foods project.

The council approved a five-item consent agenda in a unanimous vote. These resolutions authorized Public Works Director Patrick Bolt to seek bids on tree cutting in FY 2018-19, agreed for the city to enter a contract with the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission, Anniston, on the management of Valley Senior Center, involved a budget amendment for the Valley Arts Council and imposed liens on properties located at 503 Harmon Street and 1907 26th Street. The Harmon Street property cost the city $2,337.25 to clean up while the 26th Street property cost $1,200 to clean up.

Council Member Jim Jones said he was extremely pleased with the job with paving and striping River Road.

“I want to give two thumbs up on this,” he said.

Valley Parks and Recreation Director Laurie Blount said that Valley would be hosting the State Masters Games on October 15-18.

“We will be needed volunteers,” she said. “You can help out with the games or the meals. If you help with the meals you can eat for free and get a free t-shirt. We’ll be having a fall festival on Wednesday, Oct. 31. We are hoping the public supports it and will have booths giving away candy to children.”