News Line for Albany

City Commission clears path for West Albany Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market
Albany city commissioners laid the infrastructure groundwork Tuesday morning for development of a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market grocery store and complementary fueling station at Logan Court and South Westover Boulevard, just off Gillionville Road near the recently built West Albany Waffle House.
Source: Albany Herald

ADICA dreams big on downtown development plan
For City Attorney Nathan Davis, the choice put before the Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority Board Wednesday afternoon was a simple one.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany City Commissioner B.J. Fletcher: Tax owners of dilapidated properties
When businesswoman B.J. Fletcher campaigned for the Ward III Albany City Commission seat, she vowed to do what was best for her constituents, no matter whose feathers she might ruffle.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany ordinance may ban some attention-getting signs
Attention-getting signs that distract drivers on city streets are among the confirmed targets of the city’s Planning Department as Albany officials prepare to upgrade the city’s sign ordinance.
Source: Albany Herald

Northwest Albany water tower will eliminate low water pressure issues
The city’s Water, Gas & Light Commission passed a motion of support Wednesday for moving forward with a Northwest Albany water tower project designed to eliminate water pressure problems in part of the region.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany City Commission denies West Third Avenue rezoning for fourth time
The five tracts of land located at 1601, 1603, 1605, 1607 and 1609 W. Third Ave. will maintain their single-family residential zoning for the time being, but as businessman Bo Johnson noted during a public hearing held to discuss a rezoning request that would allow office-based businesses at the addresses, “This issue is going to keep coming up.”
Source: Albany Herald

Albany business owners ask for sign ordinance common sense
As the city of Albany considers a tweaking of its existing sign ordinance, a number of small business owners took the opportunity to express their concerns to members of a sign task force that met for the third time Thursday morning.
Source: Albany Herald

Dismal 2013 gives way to 2014 optimism for Albany Downtown Manager Aaron Blair
Downtown Manager Aaron Blair was feeling “inspired” Tuesday afternoon, fresh out of a meeting with representatives of Charlotte, N.C.-based developer Shandon Development Properties and the local Hilton Garden Inn and coming off his well-received — if sparsely attended — St. Patrick’s Day state of downtown address Monday evening.
Source: Albany Herald

Phoebe asks city of Albany for $858,000 fee credit for stormwater work the hospital did in 2006
While the Albany City Commission voted to table a request by Phoebe Putney Health System to allow $858,000 in previous stormwater improvement payments to count as credit toward monthly stormwater fees being implemented in the city, City Attorney Nathan Davis said the request is not allowable under the city’s recently passed stormwater ordinance.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard selected Mayor of the Year by Atlanta group
When Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard learned in late January that she had been nominated for a Georgia Minority Business Award as Mayor of the Year, she didn’t think a whole lot about it.
Source: Albany Herald

Play Ball! 96-year-old former mayor throws first pitch.
At 96 years of age, former Albany Mayor Jimmie Davis could not remember the last time he threw a baseball, but it might have been in the spring of 1964 when he threw out the first pitch to open Albany’s Dixie Youth Baseball’s inaugural season.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany downtown manager Aaron Blair addresses Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County
A few weeks in front of his “State of the Downtown” meeting, Albany Downtown Manager and ADICA CEO Aaron Blair, gave members of the Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County a preview of some of what will be discussed at that meeting.
Source: Albany Herald

City of Albany’s Fiscal Year 2013 audit report a good-news, bad-news mix
Meredith Lipson shared CPA firm Mauldin & Jenkins’ “audit agenda” with Albany city commissioners at their work session Tuesday morning. But not without a fight.
Source: Albany Herald

Utility GM Tom Berry: City, Water, Gas and Light must change culture
Tom Berry told the crowd of some 50 East Albany residents that he would talk about general services provided by Albany’s Water, Gas & Light Commission, not about specific concerns.
Source: Albany Herald

OUTLOOK 2014: EDC shows residents why they should love their city
In 1952, a famous comic strip opossum named Pogo made a profound statement: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
Source: Albany Herald

Albany City Manager Taylor: Tift Park is not for sale
James Taylor’s well aware of the “contact your local officials” campaign that has sprung up around the city’s “plans to sell off historic Tift Park, parcel by parcel.” There’s just one thing the Albany city manager says is wrong with the campaign. Tift Park’s not for sale.
Source: Albany Herald

Task force convenes to discuss Albany sign ordinance
A dozen members of a citizens Sign Task Force met with city officials Thursday to begin discussions of a “new and improved” citywide sign ordinance that would replace the existing ordinance.
Source: Albany Herald

CARLTON FLETCHER: Finding the fine line between inspiration and what was I thinking?
I had a cousin once who was at that age where he was expected to start making decisions about his future, so I asked him if he had any kind of career goals in mind.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany city officials defend need for pit bull ordinance
With a week to go before city officials are scheduled to take a vote on a proposed ordinance that would place stricter controls on pit bulldog ownership, the debate continued Tuesday over the need for a breed-specific ordinance.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany officials OK proposal to raise ticket prices at Chehaw Wild Animal Park
For the first time since 2011, visitors to Chehaw’s wild animal park will pay more for admission tickets starting April 18.
Source: Albany Herald

City of Albany terminates lease with Panthers
Assistant City Manager Wes Smith informed The Herald on Tuesday that the city of Albany has terminated its lease agreement with the Albany Panthers, leaving the Professional Indoor Football League without a venue for the 2014 season, which was already in jeopardy for financial reasons.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany City Commission continues discussion of pit bull ordinance
Johanna Falber was not exactly given the Chamber of Commerce red-carpet treatment by the Albany City Commission at that body’s work session Tuesday morning.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany City Commission votes to do away with TAD oversight committee
The Albany City Commission approved with a nonbinding vote Tuesday morning an amendment that would dissolve the Tax Allocation District Advisory Committee created to oversee spending of tax funds in the city’s special tax district.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany City Attorney Nathan Davis, staff come up big in discrimination suit
A U.S. District Court jury simply said “No” recently when asked if the city of Albany had denied APD Capt. Brian Lavoie an opportunity to fairly compete for a promotion within the department. And it was the jury’s one-word statement that spoke loudest.
Source: Albany Herald

Bond funding vital to downtown Albany development
When Downtown Manager Aaron Blair talks about projects completed or in the works in the inner city’s historic district — the Art Park, Pine Avenue Streetscape, canoe/kayak launches, lighting in the historic Old Northside neighborhood, renovation of the Albany Theatre — he never fails to mention the bond funding that pays for the projects.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany City Commission approves funding for multimodal assessment
It may have been only another “baby step” in the drawn-out process of bringing a multimodal transportation center to the city, but the Albany City Commission did take a step at its business meeting Tuesday night.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany city officials recognize police officer, civilians
While Albany’s city commissioners were conducting business at their most recent meeting, some time was taken to honor those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve the city’s residents
Source: Albany Herald

Albany City Commission gives tentative approval to multimodal environmental assessment
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before …
Source: Albany Herald

Albany utility commission hears Municipal Gas Authority 101
The city’s Water, Gas & Light Commission board got an overview of the services it will receive as the newest member of the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia during the board’s first meeting of 2014 Thursday.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany city commissioner tries to take bite out of pit bull ordinance
Two schools of thought will emerge from Ward IV Albany City Commissioner Roger Marietta’s procedural maneuvering that temporarily delayed final vote on a city of Albany pit bull ordinance Monday at a special called business meeting of the commission.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany City Commissioner Roger Marietta maneuvers to hold up pit bull ordinance
Many attendees of Monday’s special called Albany City Commission business session left more confused about the outcome of the city’s proposed pit bulldog ordinance than when they arrived at the meeting.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany City Commission makes board appointments
The Albany City Commission, as is its custom, took care of a little required housekeeping at a special called business meeting Monday evening, voting on appointments to various advisory boards and commissions that serve the city.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany City Commission to consider pit bull legislation
Talk to almost any owner of a dog known loosely as a “pit bull” and you’ll hear a string of glowing praise. How could anyone blame these cozy, people-loving pets for harming anyone?
Source: Albany Herald

B.J. Fletcher, Bobby Coleman to be sworn in as Albany city commissioners
The time is finally at hand for Albany City Commissioners-elect Bobby Coleman and B.J. Fletcher to remove the “elect” from their titles.
Source: Albany Herald

Oxford to build North Leesburg Bypass for $8.2 million
Oxford Construction Co. of Albany has been awarded an $8.2 million contract to construct the North Leesburg Bypass, a project that Leesburg City Manager Bob Alexander believes will make trips to Lee County’s schools quicker and safer.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany City Commission works out new Cutliff Grove payment plan
The first Albany City Commission meeting of the new year had the subdued feel of closure Tuesday morning in commissioners Ivey Hines’ and Christopher Pike’s — a no-show — last hurrah with the board after being voted out of office in the 2013 municipal election.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany, Dougherty officials voice legislative priorities
Albany and Dougherty County commissioners met Thursday with area lawmakers to voice their priorities when the Georgia General Assembly convenes next month in Atlanta.
Source: Albany Herald

City of Albany selected for state housing initiative
The city of Albany is one of five Georgia communities selected to participate in a three-year program designed to address the participants’ housing needs.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany and Dougherty County law enforcement honored by DA’s office
Some of the stars of local law enforcement were honored for their efforts this week by the Dougherty County District Attorney’s Office.
Source: Albany Herald

ADICA board says no to businessman Bob Brooks on skate park sale
t’s rare that Albany businessman Bob Brooks is told no, but the Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority did just that at its December meeting Wednesday afternoon.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany emergency communications get upgrade
City officials and members of the Albany City Commission were given a guided tour of the newly equipped and renovated 911 Communications Center following their regular commission meeting Tuesday.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany bar, restaurant owners say alcohol license fee increases too steep
Owners of Albany restaurants and bars took their concerns about dramatic increases in alcohol license fees to the Albany City Commission Tuesday, complaining that a new fee schedule that was adopted in May will impact their livelihood significantly.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany City Commission tables Cutliff Grove discussion
The Albany City Commission voted Tuesday to table planned discussion of the Cutliff Grove Family Resource Center’s request to modify payments on the Nativity apartment complex the group bought from the city of Albany in 2008, spurring heated exchanges between commission members.
Source: Albany Herald

Water, Gas and Light Commission to team with MillerCoors on natural gas project
The city’s Water, Gas & Light Commission approved a proposal Thursday that will create a partnership between the utility and the local MillerCoors plant.
Source: Albany Herald

Bobby Coleman defeats incumbent Ivey Hines in Albany City Commission Ward II runoff
The Albany City Commission is in for more change.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany using $30 million to attract businesses
The City of Albany has created a $30 million fund intended to lure new businesses to the area, and Mayor Dorothy Hubbard says she hopes the incentive program will translate to thousands of jobs.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Albany City Commission OKs stormwater utility, enterprise fund
Long-discussed plans to develop a federally mandated stormwater utility and stormwater enterprise fund for the city of Albany became reality Tuesday night at the Albany City Commission’s business meeting, as the commission voted 6-0 to approve an ordinance that would create the special utility.
Source: Albany Herald

Ward II challenger Bobby Coleman says turnout crucial in runoff
Bobby Coleman, who came out of nowhere on Nov. 5 to force a runoff with incumbent Ivey Hines in the Albany City Commission Ward II race, says he wants certain of his opponents’ supporters to know that while he’s a first-time candidate, he’s no new kid on the block when it comes to politics.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany preparing for 23rd annual Christmas parade
The city of Albany will host its annual Christmas parade on Dec. 7 as an official kick off into the holiday season.
Source: Albany Herald

Incumbent Albany City Commissioner Ivey Hines set for runoff
In an effort to “energize” the voters of Ward II, incumbent Albany City Commissioner Ivey Hines held “Meet the Commissioner” rallies at Greater Second Mount Olive Church’s recreation center and at the Thronateeska Heritage Center over the weekend.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany City Commission has no answers for Cutliff Grove complex
Discussion of Cutliff Grove Family Resource Center’s inability to pay the monthly $6,324.06 note on the 40-unit “Nativity” apartment complex it purchased from the city of Albany in 2008 meandered in various directions at the Albany City Commission’s work session Tuesday, at times leading to passionate exchanges among members of the commission.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany city officials to host mental health forum Tuesday
The closure of state hospitals in Georgia and the impact it’s anticipated to have is expected to be the focus of discussion at a forum concerning mental health issues on Tuesday.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany City Commission candidates reflect on election
B.J. Fletcher may be rethinking the wisdom of freely giving out her cellphone number and email address right about now.
Source: Albany Herald

B.J. Fletcher wins Albany Ward III race; Ivey Hines, Bobby Coleman headed for Ward II runoff
There will be at least one new Albany city commissioner taking office when the commission convenes in 2014.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany, Dougherty County officials eye service agreement negotiations
With bruised egos still smarting from local-option sales tax negotiations that went to nearly the 12th hour before Albany officials reluctantly agreed to a plan backed by the county rather than risk losing millions of dollars in tax revenue, the next big battle looming between the Albany and Dougherty County commissions revolves around a service delivery strategy that includes 26 separate intergovernmental agreements.
Source: Albany Herald

Six candidates seek Ward II, III Albany City Commission seats
When six candidates, including incumbents who have six years experience between them, announced plans to run for two contested seats on the Albany City Commission in Tuesday’s municipal election, voters in Wards II and III settled in for an expected deluge of election signs and candidate visits.
Source: Albany Herald

Darton State to host Albany City Commission candidate forum
The Darton State College D.I.R.T. (Democratic, Independent, Republican Team) Club will host an Albany City Commission candidate forum today at 5 p.m. in room J-133 on the Darton Campus.
Source: Albany Herald

Municipal election early voting off to slow start
Albany Elections officials said Friday only 44 of the almost 11,000 registered voters in Albany’s Wards II and III had cast ballots during the first six days of early voting in the city’s municipal election.
Source: Albany Herald