Author: Dale Liesch

City introduces curbside recycling in LoDa

The City of Mobile is launching a new recycling program for some Dauphin Street businesses downtown. Starting next Monday, businesses in the downtown area will be offered curbside single-stream recycling. All interested businesses will receive a blue recycling cart at no cost during the pilot program. City crews will transport the recycled material to a transfer station where it will be collected with other recycling material and moved to the recycling facility. “I’m thankful to these businesses for helping us lead the effort to become a cleaner, greener community,” Mayor Sandy Stimpson said. “In the past, the city has...

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Council passes the 2018 budget with several bonuses added

The Mobile City Council voted unanimously Friday to pass the city’s budget, adding in bonuses for certain employees and retirees. Councilors also delayed until next month a resolution that would add longevity pay for Mobile firefighters. The council voted unanimously on a series of changes made by Councilman John Williams which would benefit the city’s Retirement Systems of Alabama retirees as well as retirees from the Mobile Police and Firefighters Pension Board. The funds for the bonuses will come from $760,000 taken from the city’s economic development incentives line item. The changes would give the RSA retirees a bonus...

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Spire acquires Mobile Gas

A natural gas utility with a presence in three states has acquired Mobile Gas. Starting this week, Mobile Gas customers will begin to notice changes resulting from the August acquisition by Spire, company spokeswoman Michelle Niewald wrote in an email. “Starting today, customers will see Spire employees in orange and gray uniforms with Spire logos on their vehicles,” she wrote. “They will also see a new bill starting this week — be on the lookout because it comes in an orange envelope. Look for our new trucks and hard hats in your neighborhood.” With offices in Alabama, Mississippi and...

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City Council delays vote on FY 2018 budget two weeks

Citing a need for consensus on a number of issues, the Mobile City Council delayed a vote on Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s proposed 2018 fiscal year budget for two weeks. The delay guarantees the budget won’t be approved by the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1. However, the move to delay the vote beyond the deadline is not “unprecedented,” Council President Gina Gregory said during a pre-conference meeting. It would simply result in the city government operating on the 2017 fiscal year budget. The issues remaining to be worked out involve longevity pay for firefighters, funding for the GulfQuest Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico and holiday bonuses for all city employees. Continuing on his talking points since the budget was first introduced, Councilman Levon Manzie on Tuesday was set to cut GulfQuest funding by half to support a one-time bonus for city employees making less than $45,000 per year. The $400 bonuses for 1,237 city employees would cost $535,200, Manzie said. To pay for the bonuses, Manzie suggested pulling $267,600 each from GulfQuest line-item budgets for personnel and operating expenses. The move would leave roughly $464,000 in the GulfQuest line item. “It would be so we can at least show some appreciation for our employees who work hard day in and day out,” Manzie said during the pre-conference meeting. Despite GulfQuest’s “uninspiring history,” Councilman Joel Daves...

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Moore wins GOP Senate runoff

Local, state and national media have called the Republican U.S. Senate runoff for former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore. With a little more than half of the precincts reporting, as of 8:35 p.m., Moore is sitting at 56 percent of the vote, according to The New York Times website. Fresh off a rally in Fairhope Monday evening, Moore watched results roll in from Montgomery on Tuesday. He will win despite President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence stumping for his opponent Luther Strange this weekend. Moore, a controversial figure, was removed from office as chief justice...

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City continues work to transform Water Street

The City of Mobile is beginning the next step toward transforming Water Street. Next week, fiber optic work for the traffic signals on Water Street will begin in preparation for Water Street’s vehicular lane reduction. These are necessary upgrades to create an efficient traffic flow when the outside lane is removed. Work includes the installation of the conduit and fiber optic line, as well as pulling the fiber line to the controller boxes at all signalized intersections. The city will also be pulling the fiber into the telecommunication closet adjacent to the Mobile History Museum, so traffic engineers can...

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DACA recipients face uncertainty as Trump asks Congress to act

When most kids his age were fast asleep before the following days’ school assignments, Jorge Fuentes was working for no pay. At 16 years old, Fuentes said he helped his mother clean the Outback Steakhouse on Montlimar Drive. As an undocumented teenager, it was the only work he could find in Mobile. Sleeping only when he could, Fuentes’ workday started at midnight and ran to just before he had to wake his younger siblings for school. The Davidson High School student would then get himself ready for class. “I would go back home, shower, wake up my little brother...

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Mobile Housing Board frustrated by delays from Roger Williams developer

While the site has been vacant and boarded up for almost a year, the Mobile Housing Board of Commissioners voted on a contract that would start the demolition process for Roger Williams Homes. Now the developer, Hunt Cos., and general contractor, Moss, have a five-month window in which to demolish the former housing complex, which is the first step in a multimillion-dollar revitalization of the entire northside neighborhood. The budget for the demolition is set at $2.5 million and Gulf States Contracting was the firm selected to do the work, Hunt Cos.’ Stan Waterhouse said. At issue for many...

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