Dothan in 2004

The city of Dothan saw many changes occur in 2003, but what lies ahead for this New Year?

It was quite an eventful year for the city of Dothan in 2003, but many decisions made in the past year will impact 2004.

One change that has already occurred within the past several days of the New Year is a revised garbage collection policy. Dumpsters now replace trashcans for residents living in Dothan’s 21 apartment complexes. In addition, the city no longer offers Saturday landfill operation hours and also plans to eliminate curbside recycling on February 1st. The combined measures is expected to save taxpayers $325,000 each year.

The controversy over who will become Dothan’s next city manager should see a resolution. City leaders had intended to vote Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver for the post in December, but a vote was scrapped after Culver admitted participating in a secret investigation involving a Dothan police captain. Some commissioners say a regional search is needed to find a qualified candidate.

And another item that has evoked both strong feelings about Dothan’s history is expected to be decided on in ’04. While the building may be torn down, city leaders will decide what will ultimately be placed on the Carver High School property. A possible plan for the former location of Dothan’s last black segregated high school includes Habitat for Humanity's first sub-division. But others in the community argue a recreational center would benefit more people.

Finally, a pledge of 60 days seems to be carrying over into the New Year for at least one railroad company. After last April’s report listing 18 of Dothan’s 47 railroad crossings in "poor condition", there are still many repairs that have not even been addressed by a target date of last June. Even after numerous contacts by the city's traffic engineer, only one out of Dothan’s three railroad companies have made complete repairs and a second report is expected to be released in the very near future.

These are just a few of 2003 changes to affect 2004. The Dothan City Commission will begin making additional decisions for 2004 at their first meeting of the New Year tomorrow.