BYRON -- City Council hopes Byron’s Interstate 75 exit will soon look a lot prettier.
The council voted unanimously Monday to pursue a $50,000 state Department of Transportation grant to beautify the city’s I-75 Exit 149.
Getting the grant would mean the state would plant a variety of flowers and greenery in grassy areas at the exit.
Tiffany Peavy, executive director of the Byron Convention & Visitors Bureau, told council members the city didn’t get the grant last year but likely will get it this year.
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But she told the council a requirement for getting the grant is that the city must agree to maintain and pay upkeep costs for improvements. She said she estimated annual cost for upkeep is about $12,000.
Peavy asked the city to agree to pay the costs, but she said some funds could come from the city’s hotel-motel tax if necessary.
Council members agreed that making the exit more attractive is a needed component in drawing travelers off the interstate and into local hotels and restaurants.
Councilman Michael Chidester said a steady water supply would be necessary to maintain plant life for the project and would be an added cost to Peavy’s estimate.
Peavy agreed. However, the council agreed the result would be worth the cost.
“It’s terrible,” said Councilman Mike Chumbley, referring to the Byron exit. “I’ve seen so many (exits) that look better than ours. We ought to do this. We’ll work out the finances later.”
Also Monday, council members:
Voted to spend $38,970 to repair a water pump at the city’s oldest well and pay $6,990 to raise the pump’s platform to meet current state regulations;
Swore in Angela W. Sammons as judge pro tem for the city’s Municipal Court;
Tabled a vote on exceptions to the city’s firearms ordinance in order to add wording to allow a local business selling firearm parts to test weapons;
And authorized the Public Works Department to declare eight items surplus and try to sell them.
Chidester, the mayor pro tem, presided over the meeting in the absence of Mayor Larry Collins.
Contact writer Michael W. Pannell at firstname.lastname@example.org.