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Mayor praises community: City among eight to be chosen for first year of ACE program

By By BILL CRIST – Publisher
Crediting the citizens of Brewton, Mayor Ted Jennings called the city's inclusion in the Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) program "a great tribute."
Brewton was one of eight cities recently selected to participate in the program's initial year. Representatives will be in Brewton in June for a two-day visit to meet with business and city leaders.
The council opened its meeting by presenting a proclamation in honor of Brewton resident Vivian Butterworth to members of her family. Butterworth recently celebrated her 102nd birthday. The council also approved a proclamation recognizing May as Older Americans Month.
The council was presented with an ordinance addressing changes in the natural gas rates. Councilman Dennis Dunaway expressed concern over the language in the ordinance, saying that some of the information was confusing and that customers might have trouble understanding their bills.
He said customers need to know how their gas bill is figured and that he would like to see the information presented in a way that most people would be able to understand.
The ordinance was carried over until the wording can be addressed.
The council voted unanimously to absorb an increase in insurance premiums, as was suggested by the insurance committee, through Sept 30. The increased expense will cost the city approximately $6,000 to $8,000 per month according to Dunaway, who reported to the council for the committee.
Councilman Mervin Huff said that the city's Earth Day cleanup had been a success.
Councilman Cary Barton said an Earth Day essay contest at the city schools had been very successful as well.
Brewton resident Joe Hart and city utilities director Ray Madden both addressed the council about how Hart's property had been impacted by a recent city sewer project.
Hart is seeking restitution from the city for what he claims are damages to his property through removed trees and an uneven yard.
The council also approved a contract with the Brewton Area YMCA that has been in place but never signed.
Roger Chapman, with the Brewton Parks and Recreation Board, said the agreement did not change any current rates or policies for the baseball and softball fields.
The city's annual payment to the YMCA was increased in 2001, and is still in effect. According to Chapman, the city has priority on the fields, while the YMCA is responsible for scheduling and maintenance.
The council approved three bids for erosion mitigation projects that are part of an NRCS grant. Bullard Excavating had the low bid for the project on Gordon Lane, $267,300 and near D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital, $83,355. Water, Sewer and Gas Corp. had the low bid for the project near Murder Creek, with a bid of $47,764.08.
In other business the council;