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Valley begins 2021 planning

VALLEY — Mayor Leonard Riley told members of the city council on Monday that the city is in great shape in terms of sales tax collections, and that by the next meeting on Monday, Jan. 25, he will have priority lists for this year’s purchases for Public Works, Valley Police Department and Valley Parks and Recreation.

A likely purchase this year will be a dump truck for public works.

Public Works Director Patrick Bolt told the council that his department had recently purchased some needed vehicles from the state.

Riley said the city had gotten a good deal on a service truck. It’s a 2018 model with a 6.7-liter diesel engine and has a little over 100,000 miles on it.

Bolt said the 2020 paving list is just about complete. He said work would resume Tuesday on the resurfacing of Columbus Road, which could cause some traffic delays.

“It will take us several days to finish,” he said.

Road paving is weather-sensitive this time of year. It can’t take place on rainy days, and the temperature has to be in the 40s when Permaflex is involved.

In an acton taken on Monday, a proclamation was approved recognizing January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month and contracts were renewed for Data Works Plus and Harris Gray. Located in Greenville, South Carolina, Data Works Plus provides standard software and hardware support for the Valley Police Department. A contract in the amount of $2,100 begins on March 1, 2021, and runs through Feb. 28, 2022.

Harris Gray is located in downtown West Point. Its annual contract with the city covers professional engineering, surveying services, consulting services and project management.

Planning and Development Director Travis Carter said that a current lighting project between the cities of Valley and Lanett at Exit 77 on I-85 was moving along smoothly.

“The new lighting is looking really good,” he said. “We should be finished with this project by the end of the week. I want to thank Lanett for helping us with it.”

The project is one of 27 selected by the Alabama Department of Transportation to receive funding from the state. The city received $1.282 million from the state for the project, which is roughly half of the expected total amount.

Carter said that the Public Works Department would be building a temporary road at the exit to get to some light poles that need to be replaced.

Valley Parks and Recreation Director Laurie Blount told the council that merry-go-round season had been pretty good given all the circumstances.

Due to COVID-19, masks were required, people were asked to socially distance and the merry-go-round horses were sanitized between rides. The lack of school groups coming to the merry go round kept down attendance.

“That cost us around 8,800 rides compared to last year,” Blount said. “Had we been able to do that, our numbers would have been very similar to what we did in 2019 when we had 56,000 rides.”

The all-time record for one year is 89,000.

“We had good crowds for the most part,” Blount said. “We didn’t get too many complaints about having to wear masks. We hope to be past COVID and back to normal for next Christmas.”

Youth basketball is currently underway at the Community Center. Registration for youth baseball and track will be taking place in February.

Blount said that Valley Community Outreach (a.k.a. The Village) would be having a food distribution on Saturday, Jan. 16 at Valley Sportsplex. It will be taking place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. EST.

Council Member Jim Clark thanked the Public Works Department on having recently had a trash pick up along the section of the CV Railway Trail in Shawmut.

“It looks good there now,” he said. “Where litter really needs to be picked up now is on both sides of Exit 79. It looks awful there now.”