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Vienna Council meets

By BECKY CRISSMAN

becky.crissman@cordeledispatch.com

VIENNA — Council members here began their Monday night meeting with some inspirational words and a prayer by Reverend Dr. Thaddeus Laidler of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church.

Laidler quoted from Psalm chapter 133 emphasizing the very first verse, which reads: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”

“The United States of America is so divided,” he said. “Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents. Somebody has confused unity with uniformity. We can agree to agree or agree to disagree without becoming disagreeable. We all have different opinions, and we should all respect the opinions of others. All lives matter.”

Dr. Laidler prayed for unity, not just for the unity of the council as they make decisions for Vienna’s citizens, but also for the people of the United States to come together in unity.

Following the approval of the agenda and minutes from the previous meeting, mayor and council got down to the business at hand. The first action item on the agenda was an alcohol beverage license for beer and wine sales. Ankur Desai submitted the application for V-Mart. The establishment currently holds an alcohol license for the sale of beer and wine, however the name of the corporation and the responsible person is changing which necessitates a new application. With all the paperwork complete and in order, Councilman Randall Almond motioned to approve the application, which was seconded by Councilman Albert King. The council unanimously approved the motion.

Vienna Main Street Director Larista Thompson presented a written report to council. She commented on the new worker at the cotton museum, Mr. Collier, and all the compliments she has received about his work. He is part of the Experience Works Program, a state agency that pays the salary for position at no cost to the city.

Thompson also commented on the recent Scavenger Hunt held around the city as part of Vienna’s Dosquicentennial Celebration. As of Monday night the first and third items had been located but the second was still out there. Thompson said that another clue would be posted as to the location of the item.

Community Development Director Janet Joiner presented her report to mayor and council highlighting some of the items submitted. She informed the board that Golden Peanut will be investing in a roughly 2.5 million-dollar expansion with another million in equipment. She also advised council members the Biofuel Refinery is scheduled to begin construction soon and the Vienna Travel Center Subway is coming along. Joiner said the Habitat for Humanity Capital Fundraising Campaign is in need of raising $50,000 to assist with two projects in the works.

Also as part of the dosquicentennial celebration a Baby Boomer party will be held on Saturday, August 13. Joiner said the Baby Boomer idea is just a theme and the party is for everyone ages 21 and up.

Joiner had one action item for the board’s approval. The Zoning Board recently met to discuss a Special Use Application to allow a non-profit organization to locate its headquarters in a R-1 Single Family Residential District at 415 Church Street. The Zoning Board recommended the council approve the request. Patricia Mathis submitted the request and wants to utilize the building to provide assistance to disadvantaged women such as counseling and training seminars. Mayor Hobby Stripling recommended the council approve the request. A motion to approve the request was made by Councilman Walter Brown and seconded by Councilman Randall Almond. The council approved the motion by a unanimous vote.

Also on the agenda:

Vienna Police Chief Cozie Ray submitted his report to the council and also reminded them of the annual Back to School Bash which will be held on July 30 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Chief Ray says they are currently seeking donations of school supplies to distribute to Dooly County students to help get the school year off to a good start.

City Clerk Debra Spring said they are currently working on the city’s budget for the coming year and there were some items that need to be discussed that were brought up by the public works department.

City Administrator Michael Bowens also gave a report to the council. He said that several residential water meters had to be replaced at an amount of $167 each. He advised the council the damage to the meters appeared to be willful and said citizens should be aware of persons in their yard around the meter.

The owner of a local nightclub asked council members to consider allowing the establishment to sell alcohol until 2 a.m. on Sunday morning. Council members discussed the situation and decided to table the matter until consulting with the city attorney. Currently there is an ordinance in place that prohibits the sale of alcohol during that time. Council agreed to look into the matter further to see if they can grant the request.