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The Florala News
Florala , Alabama
November 26, 2014     The Florala News
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November 26, 2014

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ESTABLISHED ! 900 Location Of One Hundred Forty-Four Consecutive Annual Masonic Celebrations ONE HUNDRED FOURTEENTH YEAR WEDNESDAY NUMBER 38" 8 PAGES PRINTED ON 100% RECYCLED PAPER NOVEMBER 26, 2014 50 PER ISSUE (S^LEST^X i by Lisa Windham The Florala Utilities Board the fi- nalized the sale of the office building located on 5th Street at their special meeting Monday afternoon. The building was purchased from APC several years ago for $156,000. Alabama Power Company (APC), which is currently located in the building is buying the property for $150,000. The day-to-day operations of the utilities department was relocated from the 5th Street location to Flo- rala City Hall in early 2013 during a consolidation with the city. How- ever, utility workers still use a trailer located behind the APC building for storage and office space. APC agreed to lease this site for $200 per month to the board so that they may keep using it. In other business the board: Agreed to donate $500 to the An- gel Tree project Approved accounts payable Agreed to close the Utilities Board offices at noon on Wednesday, November 26 due to the Thanksgiv- ing holiday. swears in Need some shopping therapy to get into the Christmas spirit? Well any shopping done for these "angels" will defi- nitely take care of it! The Tri Cities Cham- ber of Commerce and Paxton Key Club' s angels are ready for adoption. Angels can be picked up at the Paxton Post Office or Florala City Hall. Upon adoption, fill out the sponsor card and leave it in the bas- ket. Gifts should be returned unwrapped in one large gift bag to Paxton High School, Paxton Post Office or Florala City Hall. Donations can also be made for those want- ing to give to the Angel Tree Project at Regions Bank in Paxton, c/o Peg- gy Hobbs or Pat Strick- land, Florala Chamber of Commerce. Thanks and have a Merry Blessed Christ- mas! - Every year, The asks the community to nominations for the Christmas ily. The family chosen is that which: )est exemplifies the true spirit of ChristmaS: If you know of a family whose positive atti- tude; public spiritedness and contributions to the community qualify it for this accolade, send your nomination letter to The Florcda News, 1155 Fifth Street or by email to floral- Please state the family's name, and de- tailed reasons why they deserve to be the 2014 Christmas Family. Include your own name, address and telephone number. The family chosen will be profiled in the Christmas issue of The Florala News, with a family photograph taken for the occasion. Deadline is Friday, December 5 at 2 p.m. The Florala News 1155 Fifth Street Florala, AL 36442 Illil [l!,!l!lllL I[iU !! IIII by Reid Tucker Anne Sexton once the oath office as a member of the Paxton Town Coun- cil after two terms away from the dais. I Sexton, who assumed the seat on the Council formerly held by Charles Cook, was sworn in alongside re-elected councilmen Travis Mc- Millan and Tommy Ma- this by Walton County Judge David Green at a special ceremony held just before the board's Nov. 18 meeting. The first matter of housekeeping on the meeting agenda was the installation of city officers, with Sexton be- ing assigned the parks department, which primarily oversees the maintenance and op- eration of the Paxton's Dixie Youth League baseball complex. Long- time town councilman Bobby Kemp was again WALTON COUNTY JUDGE DAVID GREEN SWORE IN returning Paxton Town Councilmen Tommy Mathis and Travis McMillan and installed Ann Sexton to the seat formerly occupied by Charles Cook at the Nov. 18 'meeting. (Photo by Reid Tucker) named as the board's chairman. Next up, City Attor- ney Clay Adkinson pre- sented a draft ordinance that amends the policy related to connecting a new customer to the city's water and sewer system through an old meter. The new ordi- nance, if approved at next month's meeting, contains several provi- sions aimed at helping residents moving into an existing home avoid the $1,100 in impact and tap fees associated with connecting through an abandoned meter. If the proposed ordinance goes through, the cost of a new connection v ill reflect the actual cost, in terms of time and materials, of installing a non-leaded meter. Additionally, the draft ordinance would allow a property owner to request that the city not declare a meter abandoned, though the new ordinance retains the previous definition of "abandoned" as be- ing five years with no active connection. The ordinance would also give the town council the ability to set rates for various water- and sewer-related services and charges by resolu- tion. Whatever decision the Council makes re- garding the new water and sewer rates, they must be implemented system-wide, as deter- mined per the resolu- tion. The final item on the short board's agenda was to approve a one- time holiday pay raise equivalent to a week's pay for city employees. m i AAA Travel projects 46.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving weekend, the highest volume for the holiday since 2007 and a 4.2 percent increase over 2013. Almost 90 percent of travelers (41.3 million) will celebrate the holiday with a road trip and like- ly will enjoy the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices in five years. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 26 through Sunday, November 30. Football game traffic and shoppers will also add to the number of vehicles on the road in Alabama over the holiday weekend. Highlights from 2014 Thanksgiving Travel Forecast: Thanksgiving holiday travel volume is expect- ed to reach the highest level since 2007, with 46.3 million Americans taking a trip. The 2014 forecast is 4.2 percent higher than the 44.4 million Americans who traveled last year and the greatest growth rate for any holiday since Independence Day 2012. Road trippers likely will pay the lowest Thanksgiving price for fuel in five years. Today's national average price of gas is $2.85 per gallon, which is 36 cents lower than the average price for Thanksgiving a.year ago ($3.21 per gallon). Today's state average price of gas is $2.68 per gallon, which is 44 cents lower than the average price for Thanksgiving a year ago ($3.12 per gal- lon). More than 89 percent of travelers (41.3 mil- lion) will travel by automobile, a 4.3 percent in- crease from 39.6 million last year: Air travel for Thanksgiving is expected to be at the highest level since 2007, with 3.55 million Americans taking to the skies. Travelers will encounter moderately higher prices with airfares one percent higher, mid-range hotels up eight percent and car rentals costing 10 percent more. The average distance traveled this Thanks- giving will be 549 miles roundtrip and Americans will spend an average of $573 during the holiday weekend. "This year, more Americans will give' thanks for the opportunity to travel to friends and family than any year since 2007," said Clay Ingram, AAA Alabama spokesperson. "Americans are more opti- mistic about the future as improvements in several key economic factors, including employment, GDP and disposable income, are boosting consumer con- fidence and the desire to travel." "Holiday joy has come early this year with Americans likely to pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2009. Lower prices are increasing disposable income and enabling families to carve see TRAVEL page 5