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In a lengthy work session Monday, the Perry City Council discussed numerous upcoming events and issues. The most talk centered around one block of Carroll Street.
Downtown Development Authority chairman Brian Fountain addressed concerns about the traffic pattern on the 700-block of Carroll Street. Currently it is a one-way street; merchants in the Village Shops said it is hard for customers to find them with the confusing roadway.
Fountain, who owns several properties in the area, told the council he was told the 700-block would be just as nice as the 800-900 part of Carroll Street.
“These businesses are not making it because there is an access problem,” he said.
Sharron Darnell, a Village Shop merchant, told the council, “It’s not a ‘cute’ problem, it’s an access problem that needs to be fixed.”
Darnell told the council that 16 businesses have left in the past six years because people simply couldn’t figure out how to get to the stores.
Councilwoman Phyllis Bynum-Grace said the area is very awkward and that she would like to see something change in that area.
Darnell and Fountain asked the council to consider making Jernigan Street to Five Points a two-way street.
Councilman William Jackson said, “My concern is a bottlenecking problem at the bottom of Jernigan Street.”
Darnell fired back, “There has never been a bottleneck confusion in Perry, and I have lived here since 1968.”
The council agreed to table the item until the next meeting, but did say they would walk the location during the next Mayor and Council walking session held Nov. 27.
The council heard from Rep. Larry O’Neal about state legislation and the affects it will have on local government revenues. O’Neal said House Bill 386 will change the way people pay taxes on titles. Without going into great detail, O’Neal assured councilmembers the state did the math on the issue. He told them that the net effect is projected to be a $24 million increase in revenues overall.
The council heard from Angie Gheesling from the Houston County Development Authority. Gheesling cheerfully told council to “hang in there” in regard to the spec building. Gheesling said she has had three “hard looks” at the building in the past six months.
Capt. Recycle made a special appearance at Monday’s meeting to tell the council the importance of recycling. He said recycling efforts are going good in Perry, but he hopes to educate children and parents on the benefits of recycling and to get everyone in the city involved.

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