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Lights, batting cages, golf carts: City Council approves quality of life purchases

The Andalusia City Council last week voted to continue to improve the quality of life for local residents by adding more lights and a new stage to Christmas in Candyland, adding a batting cage at Johnson Park, and updating the golf carts at Evans Barns Golf Course.

When Christmas in Candyland opens the first weekend in December, the blue lights that cover the main entrances to the Court Square will be extended to South Three Notch Street, stretching from the Square to Dunson Street. The design will be similar to those used on East Three Notch and Church Street, as well as the entrance to Springdale on Ice.

The council also authorized the purchase of additional lighted décor for the pond area of Springdale and materials for the construction of a new stage. The purchases, from Layher and from Jubilee Décor, are expected to total $35,000. Candyland runs each weekend in December and draws thousands of people to downtown Andalusia.

Andy Wiggins, director of development, said the city previously has used flatbed trailers for the stage. The new stage also will be used for July Jamz and other events, he said.

The city also will build a new batting cage at Johnson Park. The facility, which will be easily accessible from the parking lot behind Miracle League Park and field, will be built by city crews.

Meanwhile, Yamaha of Smyrna, Georgia, was the low bidder for a new lease on golf carts for Evans Barns Golf Course. The bid was $1,223 per month for 36 months.

In other business, the council:

  • Approved its $22.4 million budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year, which begins October 1. The budget includes a projected increase in revenue of $1.2 million over last year, and only a 3.5 percent increase in expenses, most of which is related to insurance premiums and payments to the state retirement system, Mayor Earl Johnson said.

The budget includes expenditures of $21.06 million; $250,000 in contingency funds; and $1.17 for the capital improvement account.

  • Agreed to rebate a portion of sales taxes collected at a new convenience store planned on a three-acre parcel at the intersection of the West Bypass and Dunson Street. The $2.5 million development plan also calls for an office/professional building on the property.

The council agreed to rebate an amount equal to 2 percent of sales taxes collected at the convenience store for the first three years of operation. M. Anthony King is the developer of the convenience store, Cenergy #4.

  • After hearing a presentation from Dr. Alison Jackson-Wood, executive director of Bethesda House, the county’s domestic violence abuse shelter, agreed to provide $20,000 in funding for the facility.
  • Abated properties are located at 612 S. Three Notch Street; 605 East Three Notch St.; 101 Pecan St.; and 430 West Watson St. for weeds and grasses.

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