Magee addressing leaks from boring
Several reports of leaks came to the Magee Board of Aldermen for attention at their recent meeting. The leaks have followed recent borings as a result of new cable being put in Magee for high speed internet.
C Spire and contractors working for them have created issues in different locations, according to Mayor Dale Berry. One issue was reported on Tenth Avenue, one on Third and one behind City Hall.
Berry reported that the city is considering replacing signs on Highway 49 and using funds from a grant from the railroad for beautification. The city contacted a sign shop and found that the current signs can be replaced for $650 each. Magee Alderman Whitney Baker volunteered to create a design.
Berry reported that work is proceeding at the old YMCA, which will be the site of the new PriorityOne Senior Citizen’s Center. Baker reported that the board had changed the floor covering color, which should keep work on schedule. Baker reported that her goal is to have an opening by Valentine’s Day in February.
Mayor Berry told the board he felt the best time to resurface Main Avenue downtown is the Memorial Day weekend in May. At that time workers will have enough time to mill the road, which involves the removal of the existing surface and grinding up the old asphalt because of the multiple layers of paving which have been done in the past. Painting and striping will also be done. The board has discussed angling the spaces more so that drivers can pull out without having to block two lanes of traffic. Berry said this would eliminate two parking spaces, however.
Berry also stated that it is the board’s plan to sweep and remove leaves from every street in the city using the city’s new sweeper. He also said regular maintenance will be done at the Magee City Cemetery.
The mayor has asked city attorney Bruce Smith to research an ordinance for banning hookah bars, vibe bars, and cigar bars. Hookah bars offer communal smoking in what Berry referred to as a “bong.” Vibe bars, he said, are where people vape. Cigar bars, which the city has approved at The Vault for the original owner, are now on the block. Alderman Baker said that cigar bars that meet certain criteria are approved.
Berry told the board that 80 percent of the youth in Simpson County were vaping already and that hookah use leads to marijuana use.
In a related matter Berry had an ordinance drafted making it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to use tobacco, e-cigarettes or similar products. Violations of the code would carry a fine of $50 and up to 30 hours of community service. The second violation would be $250 and up to 60 days of community service.
As of January 1, 2020, buyers must now be 21 to purchase tobacco products and similar materials. The board took no action on the ordinance and requested additional information.
The board voted to raise the cost of participation in the ball programs sponsored by the city from $45 per child to $65 per child. This increase will go to offset expenses incurred by the city for drug testing of coaches as well as a one-time coaching clinic required by the Cal Ripken program. This will also allow for funds for All-Star programs at the end of the season. The change brings Magee program fees closer to those charged by nearby programs.
Berry presented a list of businesses that are required to have backflow preventers. Most are compliant, according to Berry. This is a Department of Health requirement to prevent water from a business from back flowing into the city’s water system.