By ARTHUR L. MACK
MOBILE — The Mobile City Council held a public hearing during Tuesday’s regular council meeting and heard from several citizens regarding the adoption of the proposed 2017-18 budgets for the general fund, capital improvement, strategic plan and the convention center.
The budget was delivered to the council by Mayor Sandy Stimpson, who said councilmembers will vote on it by Sept. 19.
“All departments have been able to provide services at a lesser cost,” he said during his remarks to the council.
Some of the citizens had several concerns. The most notable came from Ronald Hunt, who had issues with several cuts that were made. “I’m concerned about some things in the budget,” he said.
Among the issues Hunt had were that the African-American Archives Museum, located on Dr. Martin Luther King Avenue, had not received funding in years. In addition, Hunt said, there was not a line item for the Visitors and Convention Bureau. “Hoteliers deserve money that will help their livelihoods,” he said.
Groups such as 15 Place, which had funding eliminated from last year’s budget, were also part of Hunt’s concerns. “Organizations such as the Salvation Army do not provide shelter during the day,” he said. “It would be nice for the city to step up and provide help with shelter.”
The council approved an amendment to the Village of Spring Hill Regulating Plan to change the regulating sub-districts from Neighborhood Center and Neighborhood General to Neighborhood Center for property located at 406 and456 North McGregor Avenue and 3772 and 3774 Sheips Lane. According to council president Gina Gregory, the applicant, Jeffrey Quinnelly, is building the project in accordance with the Village of Spring Hill plan.
“He had hundreds of signatures on a petition in favor of the project,” she said. “He’s also the first developer to build under the Village of Spring Hill plan.”
Council members also:
- Authorized a change order of a contract with Harwell and Company, LLC, increasing the amount by $150,000 for 2017 city-wide sidewalk repairs and maintenance.
- Authorized a change order for a contract with McElhenney Construction Company, increasing by $91,089.39 for Toulminville sidewalks.
- Authorized an agreement with the State of Alabama for preliminary engineering (state amount $3,540,000; city $3,320,000) for the City of Mobile 2016 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants for the One Mobile-Complete Streets Initiative.
- Issued a proclamation proclaiming September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.