West Point council kicks of the New Year

Published 1:36 pm Saturday, January 6, 2024

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During its first meeting of 2024, the West Point City Council discussed Old West Point Road and 2024 appointees for city offices, boards and committees.

Before the discussion of new business, the city council opened up the meeting to public comment. Willie Barber II, a senior pastor at Prospect A.M.E. Church, used his time to discuss issues facing Old West Point Road, which connects Highway 103 to Highway 18. Barber said there has been increased traffic due to construction in the area.

“About 2,000 cars a day pass on that county road that was originally designed for a lot fewer than that…we also have 18-wheelers which are prohibited off of that roadway as well,” said Barber. 

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He said his concern was one of public safety. Barber alleges the damage to the road is a result of the recent traffic, particularly the 18-wheelers. Barber showed the council a zip-lock bag full of broken reflectors that he said became loose from the traffic. He pulled out a blue reflector saying those specific ones mark where fire hydrants are for fire departments. 

Barber put together some pictures of the debris and trash that had accumulated on Old West Point Road as well. Councilwoman DeeDee Williams showed the audience one that showed a used crack pipe on the roadway. Barber, who said he worked in industrial engineering, highlighted another picture of a manhole cover that had allegedly been knocked off from a large truck. 

“All West Point roads need your help. We need your help. Just because acreage divides us, we’re still a community, and we need folks to pay some attention. We are a part of the city. We are a part of your constituency,” Barber said. 

After Barber ceded his time, the work session was called to order. The council discussed the options for 2024 city officers. All the 2023 officers wish to remain on, and there was no discussion of new officers being named. The 2023 city officers are Luther Jones as municipal court judge, Benjamin Wilcox as judge pro tem, Mark Carlton as prosecuting attorney, Alex Dixon as assistant prosecuting attorney and city attorney, and Brian Joel Aplin as public defender. Appointments will be made during the council meeting on Jan. 8.

A notable change to the boards and committee appointments for 2024 is Kevin Patrick. Patrick will be stepping down from the Development Authority Board to take his seat on the city council. He was elected, along with incumbents Jerry Ledbetter and Sandra Thorton, in Novemeber. Patrick will be sworn in at Monday’s meeting, along with the mayor and other council members.