Road to be renamed in Caldwell’s honor

Published 11:07am Saturday, April 6, 2013

For decades, Thomas Caldwell traveled Legions Avenue in Eclectic while helping out at George Johnson’s Hardware Store.
And soon, that downtown Eclectic road will bear his name. The town council voted Monday night to rename Legions Avenue after Caldwell, a six-term member of the Eclectic Town Council and the town’s first and only black mayor.
Caldwell has been a fixture in the Eclectic community for more than 70 years, and served on the town council from 1979 to 2010. As mayor pro tem, he was elevated to mayor following then-mayor Gary Wright’s resignation in the summer of 2010.
Mayor Michael Holton and council member Wanda Estes have expressed a desire to honor Caldwell’s many years of service to the town since their election last year.
“He did so much for this town for so long, we need to do something to honor him for that,” Estes said.
Legions Avenue is a dirt and gravel strip that runs parallel to Main Street, connecting Claud Road with First Avenue, behind Johnson’s Hardware and other Main Street businesses.
Caldwell is in poor health following heart bypass surgery last year. The council unanimously agreed to rename the street, and Estes said she’d get in contact with the former mayor’s caretaker to schedule a dedication ceremony in his honor.
In other business, the Eclectic Town Council:
•Approved the 2011-2012 audit of the finances of the now-dissolved Eclectic Water Works and Sewer Board. The audits were delivered on time, but turmoil on the board, disputes over a bank loan and a pending civil lawsuit made board members unwilling to officially accept the audit as required by state law.
•Tabled Cozumel Mexican Restaurant’s application for a liquor license renewal until information on the paperwork could be corrected. On items asking the proximity of the nearest school, church and residence, the distances were overstated, Holton said.
•Discussed a proposed increased in tap fees for sewer and water service, including a more than $100 hike in the cost for a new water meter and almost doubling the cost to add a home or business to the sewer system. Council members will further discuss the proposed increases at special work sessions April 18 and 30 at 5 p.m. at the municipal courtroom.
•Approved the hire of four part-time police officers to work weekend shifts at $11 per hour for no more than 32 hours per pay period. Police Chief Gordon Ledbetter was given approval in March to test the waters for trained and certified officers interested in helping out the department. He told council members he’d already found four officers interested in picking up the extra hours. Each has a day job with a surrounding department, including the Tallassee PD, Elmore County Sheriff’s Department and State Fire Marshal’s Office. They will begin helping with weekend patrols Friday night.
•Approved the town’s participation in the annual statewide Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday. The Legislature voted in 2006 to abate state sales taxes the first weekend of August on approved items such as clothing, pencils and notebooks, inviting county and local jurisdictions to do the same. Eclectic approved the resolution Monday night.
•Approved resolutions declaring April 21 Power Talk 21 Day, sponsored by Mothers Against Driving Drunk; and April 25 Parent Alienation and Bubbles of Love Day, urging parents to protect their children from the harmful effects of parental disagreements and insults.

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