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Neighborhood Revitalization, Changes to Energy Adjustment Clause Addressed at Russell City Council Work Study

Quinday City CouncilThe Russell City Council met for about an hour on Tuesday night downtown for its March Work Study session.

Jeannine Byers-Long and Janae Talbott talked with the Council about a proposed Neighborhood Revitalization Plan that would include much of the mid-section of Russell. According to Byers-Long, the plan would offer incentives to property owners for the purpose of building new structures or renovating current ones.

"Providing building opportunities and incentives would increase the value once the build is done on these properties significantly - many times almost 10,000 percent," Byers-Long said. "So I think it makes good fiscal sense to look at an opportunity to provide a temporary tax incentive for something that in the long term is going to add a lot of new investment to our community."

For more information about the proposal, CLICK HERE.

CLICK HERE for a map of the proposed target area for the plan.

For more information about the plan from Russell County Economic Development Executive Director Janae Talbott's standpoint, CLICK HERE.

Also addressed at the meeting Tuesday, an issue with the City's Energy Adjustment Clause that involves utility billing. The figure, also called the energy cost adjustment, is based on off-system or city generator, electrical use. Russell City Manager Jon Quinday explains the formula of using this adjustment in billing may have to change because the city is not recouping some of its costs.

"A review of our operations, shows that our current methodology and our past practices do not recoup our cost to generate for off-system sales," Quinday said. "We detected this because of such a significant rise in those off-system sales in 2012, which we've never generated to that capacity before. The things that we're not recovering are the operations and maintenance, our overtime, and our fuel and natural gas."

Also on Tuesday, a community clean-up day was set for April 6 and after the meeting, City Clerk Sheldon Hamilton made it known that he will be retiring from his office effective July 1 of this year.

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