Moulton District 4 Councilwoman Cassandra Lee said she was elated Monday after learning construction for sidewalks on Byler Road would begin in her district in October.

In a regular meeting Monday evening, council members voted 4-0 to award the construction contract to Gillespie Construction, LLC and accepted the company’s bid of $448,996.

“We saved a little over $51,000 on the total project,” Weatherwax said. “The delay and rebidding of Byler East saved us about $10,000 on the second phase.”

Weatherwax said the second phase of the project, which will pick up construction where the first phase ended at Pinhook Road, was delayed in April to allow the city to assess impacts on revenue and spending due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Discussions for sidewalks in District 4 began under the administration of former Mayor Ray Alexander after an apartment complex was built and 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.

A proposed project also included the construction of a sidewalk from AL-33 to Danville Road, but in April of 2017, the council then under the direction of Mayor Weatherwax, learned the sidewalks would run almost the entire length of Byler Road, extending to Moulton Village Apartments near Alabama 157.

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.

Weatherwax said the project was later broke into phases after the lowest bid for the entire project came back at $650,153. A sidewalk was installed from AL-33 to the triangle, in District 5 because the state required the construction of a new sidewalk to begin where the existing sidewalk ends.

Lee said the project should see ground broken in her district for the first time early this fall.

“I am elated that we’re this close,” she said. “My constituents have waited a long time for this project, which will impact their quality of life. This project connects them to their city.”

Lee said many apartment residents, some of whom are confined to wheelchairs, and the Moulton schools’ students who live along Byler will benefit most from the project’s completion.

“The sidewalk will also compliment the rest of the district as well as the city in terms of beautification,” she added. “It’s an improvement for the area in terms of safety as well.”

In other business, council members appointed election officers to each of Moulton’s precincts for the 2020 municipal election. Among those appointed included Beverly Bentley, who will serve as inspector for District 1 on election day; Gina Johnson was named inspector for District 2, the council appointed Shannon Terry for District 3, Alice McDaniel Lee was appointed for District 4, and the District 5 inspector is Debbie Latham. The council also appointed Jo Ann Medendorp as inspector of Moulton's absentee ballots. 

Moulton residents will vote in the election on Aug. 25 to determine the next mayor as well as two council seats.

Weatherwax is being challenged after his first term as mayor by Dixie Diamond owner Chris Terry, District 1 Councilwoman Joyce Jeffreys is challenged by Danny Morris, and District 5 Councilman Brent White is running against Pamela K. Moser.

District 4 Councilwoman Lee, along with District 2 Councilman Jason White and District 3 Councilwoman Denise Lovett, will continue to serve on the council for another term as each seat holder is running unopposed.

Moulton City Council will meet for a work session next Monday, Aug. 10, to discuss the budget for fiscal year 2021. The next council meeting is set for Aug. 17 at 5 p.m.

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