Cybersecurity funding, a loan for airport improvements and more was on the agenda for city leaders Monday.
The Alexander City City Council authorized Mayor Woody Baird to sign and execute a local consent agreement to pursue funding for state and local cybersecurity grants.
A city council resolution states the agreement stems from a city concern to manage and reduce systemic cyber risk and as such, the City of Alexander City has been contacted by the Alabama League of Municipalities regarding grants through the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP).
Baird said it is the city’s aim to seek additional funding opportunities for investments in cybersecurity infrastructure and protection from cyber risks, especially given the city’s recent recovery from a ransomware attack in January.
“It just gives me permission to talk to the people who are grant writers to fill out the proper paperwork and submit the grants so we can be better off and maybe what happened in January won’t ever happen again,” he said. “We’re pretty secure right now, but I don’t know if you can ever have too much cybersecurity.”
Among other business, the city council also authorized securing a zero-interest loan from Alabama Municipal Electric Authority in the amount of $500,000 for improvements at the Thomas C. Russell Field Airport.
According to Baird, a grant is covering the majority of the project’s cost, but like other projects, the bid was higher than originally expected.
“As everything has with the supply chain issues and cost of construction, the bid came in higher than we anticipated for some of the work at the airport,” he said. “Luckily, we’re a member of the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority, and they have a loan program that allows us to take out an interest free loan for up to five years.”
He said the loan will be paid back with a second grant the city plans to receive in fiscal year 2024.
In other action, the Alexander City City Council:
Awarded a bid to Matthew & Jody’s Tree Service in an amount not to exceed $40,000.00 for tree trimming services within Young Acres subdivision for the Alexander City Lights and Power Department.
Adopted a transportation plan for fiscal year 2024 as required by Act 2019-2 for the Rebuild Alabama Fund.
Amended the Alexander City zoning ordinance
Approved an ABC lounge retail liquor license to Mary Ann Gray, DBA Whats Up located at 2810 Dadeville Road.