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Cliff Williams / Tallapoosa Publishers Tallassee town attorney John Smith addresses the town council and Mayor John Hammock prior to a special called meeting in October.

Todd Buce has been at the helm of the Tallassee Police Department as interim chief since last year — but now his title is changing. Buce was appointed police chief by the Tallassee City Council in a 6-1 vote at its Monday meeting.

“I’ve come to know and enjoy his friendship as well as his professionalism,” Councilman Jeremy Taunton said. “I enjoy the time we have had working a few things out whether it be wood or something at the police department.”

Buce said he is only as good as the officers who work for the Tallassee Police Department. The naming of Buce also lets the officers in the department know who they answer to.

“It lets everyone at the police department have a sigh of relief,” Buce said. “There is not any of the ‘who is going to be leading them’ or anything like that.”

Buce said the Tallassee Police Department is staffed with good people. 

“You are only as good as your weakest link and they are all outstanding,” Buce said. “They are the boots on the ground and the first to come into contact with things. I have full confidence in my people.”

Councilman Damian Carr was the lone dissenting vote in appointing Buce.


Garner new utilities manager

A familiar face will head up the City of Tallassee utilities for the council. James Garner was appointed utilities manager to fill the role after the council removed Mayor John Hammock from the utilities superintendent position last year. 

“I can’t think of a better person,” Hammock said. “He has more than two decades of experience. He has more knowledge in his head than we do in maps.”

Council president Bill Godwin said Garner is a natural fit for the position.

“Utilities are huge in Tallassee,” Godwin said. “He is very dedicated. It’s a pleasure to be able to work with him. He knows the resources we have.”

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Releasing escrow funds

The council voted to terminate a contract and return $5,000 in an escrow account to a developer. The money was deposited as a possible down payment on property at the city’s airport to build up to 400 homes if the prison location was going to be in Tallassee.


In other action, the Tallassee City Council:

• Approved minutes of the May 10 meeting.

• Approved applying for a zero match grant for radios for the police and fire departments in the amount of $131,700.

• Recognized David Rogers for his efforts in acquiring $417,600 in grants for the police and fire departments and for city utilities.

• Accepted a $500 donation from Tallassee Automotive for Funtastic Fort.

• Asked a representative of Retail Strategies to be at the next council meeting to discuss its efforts to recruit retail business to Tallassee.


The next meeting of the Tallassee City Council is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 14.