Avondale Estates City Commission appoints DDA members, approves budget amendment
By Zoe Seiler, contributor
The Avondale Estates Board of Mayor and Commissioners appointed two members to the Downtown Development Authority and approved the 2019 budget amendment on Monday night, Nov. 18.
The board appointed two members to the DDA after two positions became open. One position was for a resident and the other for someone with an economic interest in the city’s downtown. The board appointed Leigh Lynch, a realtor, and Tom Trocheck, a civil engineer.
Four people applied to the open positions. The DDA interviewed all applicants at its Nov. 12 meeting and then made its recommendation to the City Commission.
Commissioner Lisa Shortell is the board’s liaison to the DDA. She said all four candidates were great and the two people chose seemed to have the broadest experience, in particular Trocheck with commercial real estate.
“I was just impressed with the people [who] applied. I thought the process went really well looking from afar. It says something about how well our DDA is doing with the quality of candidates they got,” Commissioner Brian Fisher said.
Mayor Jonathan Elmore said it will be good to have real estate expertise on the DDA.
“Two great additions and I appreciate them volunteering for what’s going to be probably a lot of hard work but we appreciate it. I don’t think we can really move forward without a really strong DDA. That is a key component to our city moving forward,” Elmore said.
The DDA is in the process of selling the Department of Juvenile Justice building. They accepted an offer of $7 from Forum Management, the building’s property managers.
Fisher congratulated the DDA on the sale and said that the sale would be a great opportunity to invest into the city.
“The Juvenile Justice Building has been one of the greatest gifts that Avondale has probably had. I think few people realize the amount of work it took to just keep it up over these last 15 to 20 years,” he said. “It’s going to be a great investment for the future of Avondale and well done.”
The DDA also signed the memorandum of understanding with Fabric Developers that the City Commission consented to on Nov. 6. The city can continue to move forward with this project and move toward a development agreement.
The City Commission had the third and final reading of the 2019 budget amendment, which it approved.
The 2019 budget amendment included a new process of amending the budget through an ordinance instead of a resolution. The commissioners thanked City Manager Patrick Bryant and Deputy City Manager Paul Hanebuth for the new process.
Bryant gave an update on the U.S. 278 project and said the paving is done. The project began several weeks ago when crews milled Clarendon Avenue and improved the curbs. Bryant said the improvements will allow traffic to move more freely through the intersection and stop causing damage to the curbs.
“Well [on Monday] we finally got a day of good weather and were able to pave over the milled asphalt. So now we can enjoy a road and curb system that is conjoined together,” Bryant said. “So, really happy that that was completed today.”
The next City Commission regular meeting is at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, December 16, at City Hall, located at 21 N Avondale Plaza.
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