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Mayor brings FAST to council

By By JOHN DILMORE JR. Publisher
Cities and counties involved in the Florida Alabama Strategic Task Force (FAST) met recently, and decided that the group needed a lobbyist to represent its interests in Washington as Congress works to craft a new transportation bill.
FAST is a group of representatives from Escambia County, Ala., Escambia County, Fla. and Santa Rosa County, Fla. pushing for expansion of Highways 31 and 87.
Brewton Mayor Ted Jennings is part of the group, and reported to the city council at its meeting last night that the need for professional lobbying assistance was among the things discussesed at FAST's recent meetings.
Jennings said that Santa Rosa County is leading the charge to aquire lobbying help, kicking in significant funds.
The group is hopeful of getting the federal funding assistance it seeks for the highway expansion project, which Jennings said "would be a great thing for this area and the Florida panhandle."
Also at last night's council meeting, members of the Escambia County Humane Society asked the city for help in aquiring a grant that would provide $1.1 million over five years to animal shelter-related efforts in Escambia and Baldwin Counties.
To complete the grant application process, the society needs two things from the city: statistics on animals handled at the Brewton shelter, and a commitment that the city will allow the ECHS to try and place animals from the city shelter with new homes. The city agreed to both requirements.
Also, the city agreed to contract with a company called Local Government Services, LLC to audit the Mediacom cable company's performance here. Mediacom's franchise agreement is up for renewal in 2006.
Jennings also announced last night that the city has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, and that Brewton is the smallest city in the state to ever win the award.
In other action, the council: