City Council places limit on number of wreckers

Published 10:41 am Tuesday, July 25, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/Senior Staff Writer

The Clanton City Council has unanimously approved capping the tow truck companies on the city wrecker list.

During the July 24 meeting, City Council member Bobby Cook made a motion to discontinue adding more companies to the list for a span of three years. This time frame coincides with the end of his term in office.  Council member Jeffrey Price was absent.

Mayor Billy Joe Driver had expressed concern that having so many wrecker services on the list was creating more work for the 911 Communications personnel. Clanton Police Chief Keith Maddox said the City Council had traditionally added any wrecker service in the city that requested it, but it would be fine to restrict it as long as there were enough on the list to meet the demand.

The list is used when someone is in an accident and does not have a preferred tow service.

Before approving the restriction, the City Council approved a request by T&K Wrecker Service to be added to the list. This brings the number of tow services on the list to nine.

The mayor expressed concern that the number of junkyards in the city were creating an eyesore.

“Looks to me like we need to get rid of some of these things,” Driver said.

Council member Awlahjaday Agee said a local owner told him the businesses keep cars that are not going to be fixed until the price for scrap metal goes up. Police officer David Clackley said the process for a car involved in an accident becoming eligible for scrapping can be lengthy, especially when a fatality is involved, because a title is required. Council member Mary Mell Smith suggested the council discuss possible restrictions for junkyards, such as fence requirements to keep cars from view. The council unanimously approved drafting a list of regulations by the start of the new fiscal year in October.

A vote was delayed on a policy for the police department regarding the use of soft restraints.  “This is kind of a gentle way of restraining someone,” Maddox said. Maddox said the restraints were Velcro and would be used instead of handcuffs for children and those with mental impairments.

“We don’t have a policy on it because it is not something we have used,” Maddox said.

A policy had been presented to the council and city attorney John Hollis Jackson.

“We don’t want to use this without the knowledge and approval of the city,” Maddox said.

Jackson said he had not had a chance to read the entire document, and asked that the vote be delayed.

Also during the meeting, the council approved:

— A beer and wine sales permit for Jet Pep for.

— A license to serve alcoholic beverages at El Agave Mexican Restaurant.

— A bid from Steel Built Systems to repair the roof on the Fred’s building, which is owned by the city, for $57,400 plus $4,500 to replace bad decking.

— Hiring three new police officers and sending them to the Police Academy. The officers will be required to work for the city of Clanton for two years or pay for the training.