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Drainage problem won’t have quick solution

VALLEY — A drainage problem on 29th Boulevard in Shawmut is a complicated problem that won’t have a quick solution.

“We had hoped to have it finished before school starts, but that won’t be happening,” Public Works Director Patrick Bolt told the city council on Monday.

The current plan is to cut a ditch in the middle of the street and to fill it with rock. This will draw a larger amount of groundwater off the street and toward a large box culvert at the end of the slope near the Shawmut Nazarene Church.

“We don’t think we will have to change any of the existing drains,” Bolt said.

The street was scheduled to be resurfaced this past spring. The road paving started but was held up due to excessive water running across the road during rainy periods. A decision was then made to address this problem before finishing the paving.

Another road paving project that’s under delay is on Railroad Street in Fairfax. A portion of the road is currently closed due to the poor condition of the road.

“It has been blocked for some time,” Bolt said. “The road is really torn up and needs to be fixed.”

Phenix Paving of Phenix City is under contract to do it.

In other business before the council, the rules were suspended and unanimous approval was given to the sale of some property on Walnut Street in River View to Antwan J. Carter for $1,000. The property had previously been seized in a demolition action.

The city purchased some property in the Shawmut mill village from Leo Herbert Posey and Betty Dunn. Posey will receive $2,500 and Dunn $4,000 from the sale.

Also approved was a contract with the Auburn Department of Public Safety. This will allow some off-duty Valley Police Department officers to assist the Auburn Police Department in providing security at Auburn University home football games.

The council will meet in a work session to be held at 6 p.m. this Thursday in the conference room at city hall. Mayor Leonard Riley said it was important for all council members to be there since they would be discussing current financials and the proposed budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year, which starts on Oct. 1.

Valley Parks & Recreation Director Laurie Blount said that the annual Free Tomato Sandwich Day would be taking place this coming Friday, July 16 at the Valley Farmers Market. The participating farmers will be providing the tomatoes, and the sandwiches will be made by former Council Member Ray Edwards, Commissioner Debra Riley, Major T.J. Wood of the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office and Major Mike Reynolds, who becomes the city’s new police chief on Oct. 1.

The tradition of Free Tomato Sandwich Day began at Evan and Jeanette Mason’s Village Curb Market in Valley and continues today through the farmer’s market. Everyone coming by for a sandwich on Friday afternoon will be given cold lemonade to wash it down with.

Chief Tommy Weldon thanked the council for going ahead and naming Reynolds his successor.

“It’s good for morale in the department to promote from within,” he said.

Council Member Jim Clark said he had recently talked to some out-of-town people who had attended the July 4 fireworks show at Valley Sportsplex and had had a great time.

“They were staying at the Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange and drove down to see the show,” he said. “They talked about how good the fireworks were and how friendly the people were. They told me they were glad they were there.”

Riley said he was glad the city’s new website was up and running.

“It has been redone and looks really good,” he said. “The department heads, especially Laurie, did a great job on it.”

“If anyone has a problem with it,” said Blount, “Call me at the Community Center, and I will call the web designer. We will make whatever changes we need to.”