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Americus City Council denies rezoning request

Tracy K. Hall

By a vote of 4-1, the Americus City Council denied to rezone properties that would be home to a new Dollar General on the corner of Columbia Avenue and Lee Street. Mayor Barry Blount was not present and Nelson Brown, who served as the mayor pro-tempore of the meeting did not vote but expressed to the Americus Times-Recorder in a phone call that he would have voted against the rezoning. Daryl Dowdell, who was inexplicably absent from the previous public hearing on the matter, voted to rezone 2 of the 3 parcels making up the property. The remaining members indicated their desire to keep the property designated as it currently stands.

Due to family obligations, Mayor Blount was not able to attend the meeting and his leadership was missed. The meeting saw its fair share of chaotic moments, primarily around business related to “traffic calming devices” better know as speed bumps. Although the agenda setting meeting had made clear the motions that would be made in this meeting, there were some members who did not understand the status of the motions. Ultimately Brown asked City Attorney, Jimmy Skipper, to clarify the council’s options on how they could vote. With tabling the motions made an option to council, the vote was made to table installing several speed bumps until a following meeting.

Other items which came to a vote included rezoning requests on Tripp Street and Wanda Way. Except for the Wanda Way property, all the requests were passed unanimously. A loan in the amount of over $21,000 was approved through the Revolving Fund Loan. A catering license was approved for Aladdin Foods. A traffic calming device will be installed on Beal Street.

During questions and comments, no council members apart from Nelson Brown had any additional comments. Brown asked Interim City Manager, Diadra Powell about “projects.” After several minutes of trying to identify what Brown was specifically asking, Brown admitted he was not certain and would propose the question at another time. Brown went on further to speak of COVID-19 and presented universally known safety precautions. The meeting was then adjourned and the council members wished listeners a good night.