City of Valley holds first reading to sell city-owned property

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, February 16, 2022

VALLEY — At its Monday meeting, the Valley City Council approved on first readings ordinances to sell some city-owned property, one sale of which includes the former senior center on Combs Street. William and Tamara Johnston offered to purchase the site for $25,000. Another city-owned piece of property at 1500 54th Street was sold to Kerry and Sarah Simonds of Atlanta for $9,000. Another lot on Summerhill Road was sold to Henry Preer for $1,000.

The council also took action to declare properties located at 123 Denna Drive, 2207 52nd Street and 1169 Trail Street public nuisances.

On the big screen TVs inside the council chamber at city hall, Code Enforcement Officer Reid Riley displayed photos of houses on those lots being in dreadful condition with windows being broken out, advanced deterioration and roofs well on their way to collapsing. Riley said that he had sent notices to the property owners last fall and had either not heard back from them or was told that repairs would but made, and it hasn’t happened. None of the houses have been lived in for some time and some have been frequented by transient drug users.

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With council’s approval, the Public Works Department can now take action to demolish the buildings and clean up the lots. The city could also hire a private contractor to do the work. The cost of the cleanup will be imposed as a lien on the property.

The council approved a professional services agreement with Harris Gray, LLC that includes but is not limited to engineering, surveying and project management services.

The purchase of some new traffic lights was approved. It will be purchased from Southern Lighting & Traffic Systems of Birmingham, Alabama at a cost of $17,545. The new traffic light will be going up at the intersection of Fob James Drive and Burney Road.

The council authorized Mayor Leonard Riley to sign an agreement with Alabama Power to provide better street lighting on Towel Avenue, which runs past the new John Soules Foods plant. The LED lighting will cost around $335 a month.

Public Works Director Patrick Bolt reported to the council that lots of work had taken place on the Burney site recently. A new sewer line will cut across the site from Fob James Drive to 55th Street and down to King Road, where it will head back to Fob James. Bolt said that his department would soon be doing some work on Jefferson and Morgan streets in Fairfax and that tree cutting would be taking place there. He said that it’s still going to take some time for the city to be getting its new street sweeper.

“It might be June before it gets here,” he said.

Police Chief Mike Reynolds reported on Valley Police Department activity in January. There was a total of 1,132 calls to the police department during the month, and officers made a total of 459 traffic stops. Traffic accidents were down from December. A total of 123 warnings were issued and 113 tickets written. Reynolds said that two officers had recently returned from firearms training.

Planning & Development Director Travis Carter told the council that framing up has taken place on what will be three new homes in the Camellia Crossing subdivision off Combs Road.

Carter said that some slight improvement had been seen in the job being done in garbage collection by AmWaste.

“We need to keep monitoring this,” said Council Member Jim Jones. “We have got to be getting better service than we have been getting recently.”

Council Member Jim Clark thanked Carter for working with AmWaste officials to get better service for Valley residents.

“There has been some improvement,” he said, agreeing with Carter, “but there’s still a long ways to go.”

Clark did have some encouraging news about fellow council member Randall Maddux. “He has been transferred from EAMC to EAMC-Lanier,” he said. “I talked to him today. He told me he has been taking baby steps on the road to full recovery.”

He was at EAMC for several weeks and had more than one surgery before being transferred.

“We want everyone to keep praying for him and his family,” said Mayor Riley. “They have been going through a tough time.”