Moulton Council prepares for new year in first meeting of 2021

District 4 Council member Cassandra Lee surveys the Byler Road sidewalk project in her district as it nears completion on Tuesday. Street Supervisor Jeff Brewington said construction for the sidewalk spanning to Moulton Village Apartments near Alabama 157 should be completed within a month. 

Completing sidewalks, replacing the city’s retiring police chief and annual water treatment bids were discussed in Moulton’s first regular council meeting of 2021 Monday night. 

Moulton Council members will hold interviews for police chief applicants on Thursday at 5 p.m. at City Hall after Chief Lyndon McWhorter announced his plans to retire later this month. 

City Clerk Deroma Pepper said three officers, Casey Baker, Russell Graham and Robert Craig Knight, will be interviewed on Thursday. She said applications for the position were only accepted from officers within Moulton’s department. 

Mayor Roger Weatherwax said construction for phase two of the Byler Road sidewalk project needs to be completed by March to comply with grant funding conditions, but Street Department Supervisor Jeff Brewington estimates work should be completed much sooner. 

Brewington said he was confident the sidewalks could be completed in two weeks to a month after final drainage work is completed. 

“Our community is so blessed to have this connection to the rest of the city,” District 4 Council member Cassandra Lee said. “We’ve been fighting for these sidewalks in District 4 to improve the quality of life for residents along this major roadway.”

Discussions for the project began about six years ago under the administration of former Mayor Ray Alexander after an apartment complex was built. The city received a $400,000 grant in 2015 to install a curb and gutter from Alabama 33 to the triangle at Byler and Pinhook Road. The project also included the construction of a sidewalk from AL-33 to Danville Road.

In April of 2017, the council then under the direction of Weatherwax, learned the sidewalks would run almost the entire length of Byler Road, from Moulton Village Apartments near Alabama 157 all the way to AL-33.

Lee, who said she has fought for sidewalks in her district for more than 10 years, said the project on Byler Road would improve the quality of life for handicapped residents and school-aged children who walk the road to campus.

“This has been a long time coming,” District 4 resident Kay Walker said Tuesday. “Something like this will be useful for the entire community, especially for those who like to walk. The sidewalk makes it safer for those of us who walk the main drag.”

Walker said she was also excited about her neighborhood being connected to downtown Moulton via the sidewalk. Once construction is complete, the new walkway will span a little over a half-mile from Moulton Village Apartments at AL-157 to the Byler Road and Sommerville Avenue intersection where phase one of the sidewalk project was completed in 2017. 

Following Monday night’s regular meeting, Weatherwax said phase two of the Byler Road sidewalk project would wrap up the city’s unfinished business for 2020. 

Also in Monday night’s meeting, council members approved annual water treatment bids as recommended by Water Plant Manager Daniel Jenkins. Council members awarded bids for water treatment chemicals, which included hydrated lime, potassium permanganate, and chlorine, to the lowest bidder for each chemical, Harcros Chemicals Inc., of Muscle Shoals. Jenkins said Harcros submitted the only bid as of 4 p.m. Monday. 

He said the bid for chlorine went up by about $70 this year compared to bids received in 2020. Moulton Council members approved the chlorine bid for $590 per ton, as well as bids for potassium permanganate at $4,125 per ton and lime at $2,100 per 12 tons. 

In other business, council members also approved a requisition at the water treatment plant for $5,835 to Consolidated Pipe for replacement butterfly valves used at the plant. 

All council members were present Monday night. Moulton City Council will hold its next regular meeting Monday, Jan. 18. 

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