February 15, 2024

Council Meeting Minutes 01-23-2024




The City Council of the City of Southside convened in regular public session in Council Chambers at City of Southside City Hall on Tuesday, January 23, 2024. Prior notice of this meeting was given in compliance with Resolution No. 0-035-2005 of the City of Southside, Alabama and the Alabama Open Meetings Act. Mayor Dana Snyder called the meeting to order at 4:02 p.m., with Danny Garnett leading in prayer.

The following council members were present: Mayor Dana Snyder, Council Members: John Hatley, Don Steward, Keith Clay, and Danny Garnett. Joseph Hutchins was not in attendance. With a quorum being present, the meeting was opened for the transaction of business. The council recessed into the work session at 4:04 p.m., then, reconvened the council meeting at 4:37 p.m.

Mayor Snyder inquired of the council if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes from the regular council meeting held on January 9, 2024. A motion was made by Don Steward to approve the minutes as presented. A second of the motion to approve was made by Danny Garnett. Roll call vote: ALL AYES. The motion carried unanimously.

• The first agenda item was a sponsorship request from the Family Success Center for their annual fundraiser. Katie Bohannan, Resource Development for the center, addressed the council during the work session, and made a presentation on some of the services provided by the center. The council has previously been a sponsor of this event, and a sponsorship is in the budget for this year. Don Steward made a motion to provide a $1200.00 “Winner’s Circle” sponsorship. The motion was seconded by John Hatley. The roll call vote was ALL AYES. The motion carried.

• Next was a Resolution to Declare Surplus to the Needs of the City, a 2015 Dodge Ram Promaster 1500 van, previously used for animal control. This van is declining in condition, and will be replaced with an existing truck owned by the Police Department. Danny Garnett made a motion to declare the van surplus to the needs of the city. Keith Clay seconded the motion. The roll call vote was ALL AYES. The motion carried.

• Mayor Snyder opened the floor to residents in attendance for input regarding the reasons a new north-bound bridge is such an important need for the City of Southside. She stated that there is an existing petition from 2019, but in talking with DOT officials as well as the grant writer handling the application for the 2024 RAISE grant, she felt there is a need for some more current input. Mayor Snyder also stated that there would be a later community input meeting scheduled on the subject, but since there was good attendance at the council meeting, it would be an opportunity for some resident opinions.

• Ms. Anita Hester, spoke of the many hazards of the old north bound bridge. She stated that she travels that way daily, and that there is always traffic backed up around the 7a.m. hour from the bridge to the Hwy77/Pilgrims Rest Road intersection due to people trying to go north on Hwy 77, either going to work or getting their children to school. She stated that several times she has seen tractor trailers get to the bridge and stop due to uncertainty of their actual ability to cross due to height constraints. She spoke of many accidents and near-accidents in the area due to the bottleneck created by merging onto the one-lane bridge. She also spoke about the chaos that occurs when the north bound bridge has to be shut down for maintenance, inspection, or repairs, as well as the confusion that area causes those less familiar with the layout of the two bridges. Ms. Hester said a new bridge would likely change the layout and help lessen the confusion. She also cited the age of the bridge, which would naturally cause it to be fatigued, and the fact that it was constructed with the ability to turn, which probably should lessen its load capacity, making it even more hazardous.

• Resident David Smith discussed the ill-repair of the bridge in regard to pot holes on it. Mayor Snyder and Councilman Steward discussed the fact that the ALDOT has recently filled the potholes, and they are already eroding again.

• Resident Rhonda Arnett cited how the City of Southside is a growing community, and mentioned a prospective new development behind her residence that would potentially add 70-80 more residents trying to get across the one-lane northbound bridge at peak times. Ms. Arnett spoke of the difficulty she has in getting her granddaughter to Rainbow City for school on time due to the bottleneck to the northbound bridge. She spoke about the difficulty in merging where the lanes converge into one lane at the bridge, and how there is usually a fender bender every day.

• Resident Shane Hamm spoke about the potential economic impact a new bridge could have on the community. He stated that ease of access would certainly be a factor in attracting new businesses to the Southside area.

• Chief of Police Jarrett Williams spoke about the difficulty when there is an oversize load trying to cross the northbound bridge. Chief Williams stated that City of Southside police have to coordinate with Rainbow City Police to shut down the Southbound bridge and allow the northbound oversized load to cross the Coosa River on the southbound bridge due to size constraint.

Mayor Snyder then asked if there were any other questions or comments. There were several questions regarding various issues with the proposed revision of the existing Animal Ordinance. Mayor Snyder stated that the council would be having a special work session dedicated to possible amendments to the existing ordinance.

It was suggested that the Council needs to look for some grant money to help fund a possible digital sign to put emergency information, city events, and other information on. There was discussion about perhaps refurbishing the existing sign at city hall.

There was more interaction about the animal ordinance language, and how to address certain issues, and the pros and cons of adding certain language and restrictions, as well as the reasons for both. Several residents as well as council members and the Police Chief participated in this discussion.

At this time, Mayor Snyder made the following announcements:

 Congratulations to the Southside Lady Panthers Basketball team, 7th and 8th grade boys’ team at Rainbow middle School, as well as 7th grade girls for winning their Etowah County Tournaments.

With no other business to discuss the mayor asked if there was a motion to dismiss. Don Steward made a motion to dismiss, Keith Clay provided a second. The meeting was adjourned at 5:16.

Dana Snyder, Mayor

Cindy Beshears, Acting City Clerk