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City of Quincy City Commission meeting summary: July 17, 2018

Workshop to be held on city fire service agreement with county

At the last Quincy City Commission meeting, Quincy Fire Chief Curtis Bridges reported that the city’s Interlocal Fire and Rescue Service Agreement with Gadsden County will expire on September 30.

Bridges said the county would like Quincy to extend the agreement for three more years. Under the agreement, the Quincy Fire Department services the unincorporated areas around Quincy as well as Gretna, St. John/Robertsville, Wetumpka, Midway and Interstate 10 from mile marker 173 to mile marker 193.

Bridges said the county offered an increase in the agreement of two percent, with a new clause which makes the county manager the final arbiter of all disputes.

Quincy resident Freida Bass-Preito came before the commission and stated that every Quincy resident has to pay $61 to compensate for the firefighters’ time spent in county areas. Bass-Preito also addressed her concern about the Quincy Fire Department being able to adequately service the city while being stretched too thin to serve outside the city.

All the Quincy commissioners agreed that this is not a good deal for the City of Quincy, making different suggestions as to what would be an appropriate counter-offer to the county. It was then decided  to schedule a workshop to discuss this agreement at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 24 right before the next Quincy City Commission meeting.

City to proceed with dangerous building abatement on Clark Street

The Quincy City Commission voted unanimously recently to proceed with a dangerous building abatement at 819 W. Clark Street.

Bernard Piawah, the city’s building and planning director, told the commission that this structure had been before the commission in February 2017 but there was no funding in the budget for demolition at that time. Piawah stated that the structure had been deemed dangerous to public health and safety by the Quincy building official, and should be demolished because it cannot be brought into compliance through repairs.

Mayor Angela Sapp asked how the city would recoup the demolition costs of $3,686, and Piawah replied that the city would place a lien on the property and send the property owners an invoice.

Commissioners concerned about repeat code offenders

After hearing the city’s code enforcement report, Quincy Mayor Angela Sapp commented that it seems that some of the properties are repeat offenders. Therefore, Sapp asked that more stringent penalties be given to the property owners in violation of the code in order for them to take the city more seriously.

Commissioner Keith Dowdell added that Quincy’s downtown looks shoddy because of the great number of buildings that are not up to code, with the owners out of town and charging high rent. Dowdell said something needs to be done about this.

City Attorney Scott Shirley said that the code enforcement notices to the violating property owners could go out with layered fines. No action was taken on the matter, however.

Quincy to purchase rebuilt transformers to help Trulieve

The Quincy City Commission unanimously approved a motion to purchase rebuilt transformers from Florida Transformer at a cost not to exceed $17,895 to help the growing needs of Trulieve.

Trulieve, the medical marijuana grower/dispensary, has quickly become one of the city’s and the county’s biggest and most successful businesses.

Quincy honors family of Lester Black

At its last meeting, the Quincy City Commission honored the family of Quincy resident Lester A. Black,  who died on June 20.

Members of Black’s family include his wife, Barbara; their daughter, Jeanetta; and their grandchildren, Ariel and Hunter.

Quincy Mayor Angela Sappsaid that Black was a long-time educator (retiring as principal of Greensboro Elementary School); an entrepreneur (who provided rental homes and homes for sale to countless Quincy citizens); and a provider of many jobs in Quincy through the upkeep and maintenance of his properties.

Is the RD Edwards Building safe?

Commissioner Ronte Harris said at the recent commission meeting that he had an opportunity to recently tour the RD Edwards Building (where the Quincy Police Department is preparing to move back into) and his hat goes off to Quincy Public Works Director Reginald Bell and his employees, and Quincy Police Chief Glenn Sapp, for saving the city a lot of money with the renovations.

Harris, however, wondered if the flooring in the building is a possible safety hazard. Commissioner Andy Gay reminded the commission that it had received a grant from the state’s Historic Preservation Division and that the city may have to consult with that division first about making any further changes to the RD Edwards Building. No further action was taken on this matter, however.

Lights being installed; problem with squirrels

Robin Ryals, Quincy’s utilities director, recently told the city commission that there are lights being installed on Pat Thomas Parkway beginning at Elm Street going south. He stated the city will install 81 LED lights.

When Commissioner Keith Dowdell asked Ryals about all the recent outages the city is having, Ryals told the commissioners that it is squirrels that are causing the outages.

McMillan points out things that need the city’s attention

At the last Quincy commission meeting, Commissioner Daniel McMillan pointed out that the holding pond at King and Pittman streets needs some attention, as well as there being a broken utility pole at the intersection of King and Adams streets that the wires need to be placed on the pole that was installed several months ago.

By Randall Lieberman