News from Mayor Steve Holt

City of Florence, Alabama

September 10, 2020


The Florence City Council meeting is scheduled for

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

4:00 p.m. Work Session

5:00 p.m. Council Meeting

City Auditorium

103 South Pine Street

Big picture

Florence Utilities Upgrades Ebiz and Speedpay Features

Mayor Steve Holt and Florence Utilities are excited to announce the new upgrade to the current Ebiz and Speedpay payment site for customers. The new changes will give customers more options to manage their accounts. Current Ebiz users will be automatically transferred to the upgraded system.

New features include:

1. NEW Usage History: Customers will have access to 12 months of billing history, usage history, and payment history.

2. NEW Current Billing Details: Customers will view current billing information with a detailed breakdown of each utility charge.

3. NEW Bill Calculator: Customers will have access to a bill calculator tool that will provide an estimate of their next bill. The bill calculator can be used by service to key in the customer meters' readings or an estimated reading to calculate approximate billing amount.

4. NEW Add Account: Customers can be added to make payments on another account with account identifying information. This is an excellent option for those that pay a family member's bill. The customer's account number, last four digits of the social security number, phone number for the account, and name on the account will be needed.

5. NEW E-Billing Enrollment: Customers can choose to receive an email when the bill is ready to view. Customers will still receive the paper copy of their bill unless they choose to go paperless.

6. Recurring Drafts: Customers can set up a reoccurring bank draft by keying in their banking information or easily change the current reoccurring bank draft information.

7. Manage Account: Users will have the option to delete online profiles, change their password, and recover user id or passwords as needed.

The Ebiz/Speedpay upgrade is the first phase of the new Customer Service features. In upcoming months, Florence Utilities will implement E-print, which will allow the customer to download and print bills from the Ebiz site. A new payment processor, Invoice Cloud, will also be implemented with many more customer service options.

Big picture
Big picture

The profit made from the Friends of the Florence Lauderdale Public Library’s Bookstore help the library provide more free books and services to the community. The bookstore has a large variety of books at great prices, so be sure to go shop their selection!

Big picture
Big picture

Vote Absentee

Due to Covid-19, the Secretary of State is allowing Alabama voters concerned about the coronavirus to cast an absentee ballot.

To receive an application to vote absentee by mail, call the City Clerk’s Office at 256-760-6679. Deadline to request an application is October 1. Mail the application along with a copy of your photo I.D. to:

City of Florence

Attention: Absentee Election Manager

P.O. Box 98

Florence, AL 35631

Once your application is received along with the copy of your I.D., a ballot will be mailed. Complete the ballot and mail it back or deliver in person by October 5. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by October 5 and received by noon on October 6 to be counted. One application per envelope.

You can also Vote Absentee In-Person: September 4-October 1.

  • Vote in-person by absentee ballot with a photo I.D. by October 1.

City of Florence City Clerk’s Office

110 West College Street,

Florence, AL 35630


Big picture
Big picture

Do you know where to vote on October 6, 2020?

The next City of Florence municipal runoff election will be held on October 6, 2020. Polls will be open from 7 am to 7 pm. Please note the three changes that are consistent with the Lauderdale County voting precincts

  • District 5 voting locations include Chapel Church (changed from Forest Hills School) & Fairground Road Center (changed from Harlan School)
  • District 6 locations include Florence High School and St. James United Methodist Church (changed from Mars Hill School).

For more information, call: 256-760-6679

Big picture

Alabama Counts!

As we continue our last push efforts to maximize census responses in Alabama before the September 30 deadline, I want to update you on a couple of items of the Alabama Counts! 2020 Census effort.

Census workers now in the field: Census workers are beginning to go door-to-door to households who haven’t responded and will continue that work through the end of the census on Sept. 30. If Alabamians wish to avoid a knock at the door from a Census Bureau employee in the coming weeks, they may still self-respond to the census online at, toll-free by phone at (844) 330-2020 or by returning the paper form they received in the spring.

Suspect Fraud: Census workers should never ask you about social security number or bank or other financial information. If you suspect fraud, call 844-330-2020 to speak with a Census Bureau representative. If it is determined that the visitor who came to your door does not work for the Census Bureau, contact your local police department. More information:

Email communications: The Census Bureau updated its communications strategy to include email outreach in areas where many homes have not yet responded. Official Census Bureau emails will be sent from the address If you have already responded to the 2020 Census, you may ignore this reminder.

Big picture
Big picture


What are the mathematical odds that three houses located side-by-side but owned by two separate families would ultimately be donated to the citizens of Florence as a Center for the Arts? Probably, the number is impossible to calculate. But that is exactly what happened to three houses in the 200 block of East Tuscaloosa Street across from Wilson Park. Two of them were owned by Reverend Hiram Kennedy Douglass and one by Mary Eliza (Southall) and Charles Moore. As a result, these three fine houses now serve as the base for art exhibits, intimate music events, literary presentations, public lectures, etc. Annually, the houses host such events as Arts Alive! in May and the Holly and Ivy Luncheons in December. Without question, they add immeasurably to the quality of life in Florence and the Shoals. Citizens owe a debt of gratitude to Reverend Douglass and the Moores for their wonderful gifts.

Billy Warren, City Historian

Big picture

How to Submit Your Event, News, or Announcement:

  • Public and community events or announcements can be in an email, Word document, PDF, or JPG file suitable for viewing on the web. Include graphics in JPG or PNG if possible.
  • Along with your information, include your name, phone number, event name, location, date and time, and a brief description.
  • IMPORTANT: Please submit your information no later than Tuesday of each week (preferably sooner). Submissions after the deadline will be added to the next week's publication. The newsletter is posted on Thursday afternoon.
  • Send your information to or call Melinda Morgan with questions at 256-760-6408.