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Old 09-13-2007, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Historic Bessemer Alabama
629 posts, read 3,587,823 times
Reputation: 490

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There is an emergency Neighborhod meeting tonight at The Broken Vessel Church 1829 Dartmouth Ave at 7:00PM...........please help spread the word!

The following was written by Joe Openshaw on Bessemer Opinions Blog!



"It's really surprising that so few people showed up at last nights Bessemer Neighborhood Association meeting. But Bessemer has a recent history of apathy, so why should I be surprised?

The BNA members were concerned about council actions that could lead to increased water rates, so during the meeting we called Camilo Fuller, the mayor's assistant and he agreed to come down. When he saw the level of concern and the knowledge of the issue exhibited by BNA members, he called Mayor Ed May to come down and discuss the issue.

Anyway, here are the facts. Bessemer is under contract to supply water to Alabaster. Bessemer must build a $4.5 million waterline. Once this is complete, supplying water to Alabaster will be a positive thing for Bessemer.

In 2006 the council authorized Mayor Ed May to put a financial team together and he then went to New York along with some council members and secured a AAA bond rating (the city had no rating before). That means we can get good rates.

In April 2007, the council voted 7-0 to authorize May to negotiate the bond deal, and he did, at a 4.5% rate, which is a good rate. But certain council members wanted to use a different underwriter, the one they recommended in 2006, even though the interest rate would be much higher, and even though by law the 2007 council is under no obligation to adhere to the 2006 (different people) council recommendations.

Then there's this. The delay has already allowed the preferred interest rate to rise to 4.8%, but that is still the best deal, and the rate will only hold for a couple more weeks.

We are in a contract with Alabaster, and if we do not pass a bond issue we will have to borrow the money, $4.5 million, short term, at rates that will cause our water bills to go up 108%, according to lender estimates.

Council persons Dorothy Davidson, Sarah Belcher, Jesse Matthews and Albert Soles (who was not part of the 2006 council) voted against the bond issue. They want to put the interest of one individual, Walter Lewis of Gardnyr Michael Capital above the interests of 30,000 customers of Bessemer Water, ignoring the hardship that doubling the cost of our water will cause.

The council is meeting at 9:00 this morning to continue last weeks meeting before their regularly scheduled planning meeting at 10:00 today. BNA members will b there to urge them, no, to demand that they look out for the interests of those who elected them rather than their buddy.

If the council does not pass the bill today, we will return with more people next Tuesday, because by then we can alert many more citizens in the districts of Davidson, Belcher, Matthews and Soles.

One member actually called Albert Soles during the meeting last night, and very forcefully told him that he needs to reconsider his vote. Another council person was trying to call the mayor during the meeting, I was sitting next to the mayor and his phone was on the table just vibrating away while he was speaking, and he told me who it was, and why they were calling.

Hopefully pressure is already being put on that council person and others, and they will do the right thing today. It's not too late for you to help, though and you can do this by calling your council person this morning and demanding that he or she vote in the interests of the people they serve. I don't have the individual council members cell phone numbers, but call the city at 428-4060 and ask for the council office and if you can't get the councilor then leave a message outlining your position. I will post the results of the meeting around lunchtime".
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Old 09-15-2007, 06:30 PM
 
7 posts, read 40,087 times
Reputation: 10
Default so sad

Thanks for posting this message. We are relocating to the Birmingham area from Omaha, and we will try to NOT live in Bessemer. It sounds like the kind of cronyism which goes on in SE Michigan, where I'm from, all the time. The government of my hometown of Ypsilanti, Michigan, managed to get something like this through about fifteen or twenty years ago. As a consequence, my parents and siblings have been paying an 80% "surcharge" on their water bill ever since. Their water expenses are about four or five times what we pay here in Omaha. It's ridiculous, what these elected officials think they can do with their power. Really and truly sad, that they would put their buddy's interests above the interests of the people they are elected to serve.


Good luck with this - I hope it turns out okay.
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Historic Bessemer Alabama
629 posts, read 3,587,823 times
Reputation: 490
Don't let that keep you away from Bessemer..........

the Historic Homeowners assn. is planning to overthrow the city government.........all the rental properties will be torn down and the historic homes lots will be as large as they once were! We will pump our own water from the spring that runs beneath the city! We will pass laws that limit the number of cars with no engines you can keep in your front yard, the number of non-working or working appliances you can have on your porch and the number of un- related adults you can have living under one roof! You will have to cut your grass at least twice per month and own at least one front porch swing. There will be speed bumps put in and anyone playing thier radio at an unacceptable level will be shot straight away!

Check out my myspace page for pix of our city and some of it's homes and please consider us............
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:34 AM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
182 posts, read 897,589 times
Reputation: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Historic Bessemer View Post
the Historic Homeowners assn. is planning to overthrow the city government.........all the rental properties will be torn down and the historic homes lots will be as large as they once were! We will pump our own water from the spring that runs beneath the city! We will pass laws that limit the number of cars with no engines you can keep in your front yard, the number of non-working or working appliances you can have on your porch and the number of un- related adults you can have living under one roof! You will have to cut your grass at least twice per month and own at least one front porch swing. There will be speed bumps put in and anyone playing thier radio at an unacceptable level will be shot straight away!


How big is the Historic Homeowners Assn.?
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Old 09-17-2007, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Historic Bessemer Alabama
629 posts, read 3,587,823 times
Reputation: 490
about 50 ppl...................why do you ask?
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Old 09-17-2007, 12:47 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
182 posts, read 897,589 times
Reputation: 75
Just curious. Is that a pretty good representation of historic homeowners residing in Bessemer?
Is there anything non-Bessemer residents can do to aid these people in this endeavor?
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Historic Bessemer Alabama
629 posts, read 3,587,823 times
Reputation: 490
Yes, that is almost everyone who owns a historic home in Bessemer.
This problem not only effects Bessemer residents but anyone who pays Bessemer Utilities for services. Here is the latest article about the problem.

__________________________________________________ _______________
"The Mayor of Bessemer, Ed May came to the Bessemer Neighborhood Association meeting Monday night, then again to the Town Hall Meeting we sponsored Thursday Night. May is trying to get support for his Water Bond deal that the council authorized him to pursue, then voted against it once he got it.



Rumors are swirling, and I'm not going to repeat them here. But certain council members are being accused of major improprieties. One council member has even stated that we do not even have a contract to sell water to the city of Alabaster (I have a copy). Here is the mayor addressing our group.

ABC 33/40 reported on the issue Friday night as their lead story, showing our group protesting at the Jess Lanier game, and explaining the issue pretty well. She mentioned that if the water rates go up, not only will Bessemer be affected, but parts of Hoover, Helena, Midfield, Hueytown and Ross Bridge as well. If you live in any of these areas, you should come to the Town Hall Meeting tonight. For more information visit Bessemer Neighbors .

Tomorrow night is the Bessemer Historical Homeowners Association meeting at 213 19th Street South at the home of Jason Burnett, at 7:00.

These are two meetings at you need to come to if you are interested in preserving Bessemer and moving the city forward. The weather will be great both evenings, so come on out. Broken Vessel tonight, Jason's house tomorrow night".


__________________________________________________ ________________

How can others help? If you know of anyone who lives in the aforementioned areas..........spread the word about this! I will be attending the city council meeting Tuesday morning and will inform as to any new developments!
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:12 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
182 posts, read 897,589 times
Reputation: 75
Do Hueytown residents use Bessemer utilities? I have a friend who owns a 1940's home in Hueytown. He rents it out since he married and moved to Pelham so he may not be in the "know" regarding this issue.
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Historic Bessemer Alabama
629 posts, read 3,587,823 times
Reputation: 490
Some are but not all...........I used to live in Hueytown and was on Warrior River water..............but my friends who lived on 15th street were on Bessemer.
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:12 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,091 times
Reputation: 10
Default water meters

I was wanting to get and extra water meter for sprinkler system. the utility department wants $900.00 which is outragous. Other countys don't chage this much.
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