City reviewing crosswalk for students on Hwy. 17

HAMILTON - Conflicting reports led to no action involving a proposed crosswalk and pathway which would serve students at Hamilton’s public schools who cross State Highway 17.

The proposed project would give Hamilton public school students a pathway to the city’s E.T. Sims Neighborhood Facilities Building, which is currently undergoing a large renovation.
When the topic came up for discussion during the council’s meeting on Monday, Oct. 1, councilwoman Tami Lewis Williams reported she was under the impression that the Marion County Co-operative board was unwilling to give the city the right-of-way it had requested.
Hamilton Mayor Bob Page said that when he had last spoken to the co-op, it had agreed to give the city the land.
Adding to the confusion, councilman Gene Sanderson expressed his alarm that the project was so expensive.
“We’re talking about more than $220,000 to put a sidewalk down to the rec center,” Sanderson said. “I’d like to have that contract.”
The city would be receiving a $175,000 grant from the State of Alabama and would match the funds in the amount of $44,565.
The project includes a lighted crosswalk on State Highway 17 and a lighted and fenced sidewalk leading to the city park between the Marion County Co-operative and the Journal Record’s office.
Page asked for a motion on the project, which was given by councilor Bobby Joe Irvin. However, no second was given and no action could be taken at the meeting.
In a followup interview with the Journal Record, Page said that things have been clarified with the Co-op board and members of the city council.
Page explained that the Co-op had indicated to Williams that it would not be in favor of a right-of-way larger than six feet wide.
The mayor said that the city can plan accordingly and suspects that the council will revisit the topic at upcoming meetings.
In other business, the council:
• Approved an hourly pay rate of $15.90 per hour for the position of waste water plant trainee.
Page announced to the council that Greg Ingram was hired recently to fill the position.
• Approved an hourly pay rate of $16.63 per hour for an officer position for the Hamilton Police Department.
Hamilton Chief Ronny Vickery and Page announced to the council that Tony Jones was recently hired to fill the spot.
• Closed the city’s Benevolence Fund checking account, which has not been used since 2016.
Hamilton City Clerk Angela Owen told the council that donations used to be made into the account for the local police department to aid people in need of help, such as buy a hotel room or pay for gas.
However, the account has not been used since 2016 and only held $28.38 in funds.

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