The Wetumpka City Council approved at Monday’s meeting the demolition of 11 dilapidated properties and heard a report the city is continuing on a path of exemplary financial audits.
The city received a $174,000 Community Block Development Grant funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to remove blighted structures and all 11 property owners consented as they won’t have to pay for the demolition or have a lien placed on their property.
The 11 properties are located at:
• 307 North Broad St.
• 708 Northwest Main St.
• 811 Northwest Main St.
• 902 Marshall St.
• 106 Micanopy St.
• 500 Micanopy St.
• 41 North St.
• 210 South Opothleohola St.
• 109 East Osceola St.
• 707 West Osceloa St.
• 407 South Pine St.
The city got a clean audit for the 2018 fiscal year and received a Government Finance Officers Association (GFOS) certificate for excellence in financial reporting for the 27th consecutive year, according to Mike Celka of Bern, Butler, Capilouto and Massey.
The best news in the audit itself is the city’s bond issue to build the sports complex and refinance debt has been paid down from $11.885 million to $7.23 million in the last five years, Celka told the council.
“Your bond rating is perfect,” Celka said. “If you don’t issue any more, the bonds go away in 2024.”
Celka added the city cannot refinance any more debt and would have to go to the bond market.
In other developments at the meeting:
• Mayor Jerry Willis said the city received its final insurance check from the Alabama Municipal Insurance Corp. to pay for the city’s insured losses after the January tornado.
“We had roughly $3.5 million in insured damages and $2.2 million in uninsured damages,” Willis said. “We’ll have to eat that. We’ll work it out of the budget to continue the cleanup. Ninety to 95% of the large cleanup has been done. The rest of it is small stuff and will continue for two to three years. We’ll try to do it in house.”
Willis said the recent 1-cent sales tax increase should help pay for some of those costs.
“We’d be borrowing money to clean up without that,” he said.
• The council voted unanimously to approve a new subscription service with QTpod for a new point-of-sale system to enable fuel sales to resume at Wetumpka’s municipal airport. The service will cost $945 annually during the warranty period and $1,995 yearly afterward.
• The council heard a first reading of an ordinance that would allow the rezoning of property on Hill Street owned by the owners of Big Fish House. The property would be rezoned from B-3 central business district to R-3 medium density residential district. Southern Prospect Properties LLC petitioned the council for the rezoning. The council also approved advertising a public hearing on the rezoning request.