GARDEN CITY — The Garden City town council terminated two office employees and the town attorney Monday night and hired a new attorney and town clerk.
The council unanimously voted to relieve Leslie Johnson and Shannon James as utility clerk and town clerk, respectively. The council also terminated Roy Williams as town attorney. Amy Black, who had been serving as interim town clerk, was officially hired to the position and Heath Meherg of the Griffith, Lowry & Meherg law firm was approved as the new town attorney.
The council did not give a reason for the personnel changes.
At the town council meeting in August, the council placed the office staff on administrative leave after a nearly two-hour closed door discussion. Afterwards, Councilman Michael Black offered a statement from the council saying, “After discussion and advisement from the town auditor, office staff has been placed on administrative leave pending further notice.”
Monday night the council also gave approval to ask for a loan from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM). David Haynes with St. John and Associates told the council the town had been pre-approved for a $195,250 loan from the state’s Drinking Water State Revolving Loan program.
Haynes said the fund provides low interest loans at 2.2% over a 20-year period and the town qualified to receive principal loan forgiveness of 50% of the principal.
The loan will be used be used to replace approximately 275 water meters and add monitoring equipment as part of its ongoing project to improve the technology of the water system.
The council also heard form representatives of Garden City Congregational Church who requested the use of a building owned by the town. Senior Pastor Bo Garrison told the council they would like to use the building as a meeting place for its grief support group and 12-step support group and as a place to operate its food bank out of.
“That will free up our space in our fellowship hall,” he said.
The council agreed to table the request until next month so they could get more information.