Colony mayor, council talk need for census responses, summer plans

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Councilwoman Ethel Alexander keeping things safe at Tuesday’s town council meeting. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

COLONY, Ala. – Colony’s Town Council had no official items on its agenda and did not hold a formal meeting Tuesday, but did hold a work session at which Mayor Donnis Leeth and members discussed several topics of interest and concern.

A topic of serious concern was the 2020 Census. Response rates have been lower than desired across the state, a situation complicated by the COVID-19 shutdown. With an extension of the census deadline to Aug. 14, the council hopes to find ways to increase participation in Colony. Councilwoman Ethel Alexander said she is working on getting a laptop computer that will allow her to go door to door in places, and Councilman Melvin Hammond talked about plans for a community-wide mailout notice to encourage participation.

Leeth pointed to the economic benefits of census participation, noting that federal funding of programs like Medicare is impacted by information generated by the Census Bureau, and telling The Tribune people should “not just think that people are going to take your land and all, stuff like that. They don’t do that . . . We need to just get together and understand it. We’ll show them the paperwork, how that stuff works, and hope we’ll be all in one accord.”

Leeth wants people to know that the town’s food pantry is still open, and he plans to get more supplies from the Food Bank of North Alabama soon. Alexander recommended that the Town make the most of its storage space at the food pantry and stock up on available non-perishable goods. Anyone who needs assistance can contact Colony Town Hall for more information.

Leeth and Hammond discussed concerns about work being done at Town facilities. The two recommended that, in the future, all repair work should be done by bonded providers who sign a formal contract with the Town which includes time limits for job completion. Hammond said he is working on a standard contract form.

Alexander shared that plans for the town’s summer children’s feeding program are unsure at the moment due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 shutdown. Alexander expressed hope that some type of summer educational program might still take place. She offered to do tutoring and reading, and Hammond offered to help with possible math and computer instruction. Alexander will be sending out more information to the community as plans are made.

Leeth also encouraged members to let the council know of any needs they encounter, saying, “If y’all hear anything of anybody that has got sick around the community, we’ll come in here, call a special meeting or just call a workshop and see what we can do for them, because that’s what we’re here for, is to help people. That’s what we’re going to do: help people.”

The Colony Town Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at Colony Town Hall, with work session at 5 p.m. and council meeting following. The public is invited to attend.

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com