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Clanton plans to repave Airport Road

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Clanton City Council unanimously approved opening a new bank account for the anticipated approximate $43,000 per year it will receive from the statewide fuel tax increase during a meeting on Aug. 26.

River Bank & Trust was selected as the bank to have the account in.

Mayor Billy Joe Driver said the funds would be used to resurface Airport Road.

The increase comes as a part of the Rebuild Alabama Infrastructure Bill, which was recommended by Gov. Kay Ivey and approved by the legislature during the last legislative session.

Cities are expected to receive an additional 1 cent per gallon from the increase.

During the Aug. 26 meeting, the Council heard from city resident Tommy Smith on behalf of his neighborhood near Stella-Jones in Lomax.

He said the company had been found in violation of a city ordinance for the smells emanating from the company’s process of treating railroad ties. The Board of Zoning Adjustment had given the company until July 2019 to abate the “hazard or nuisance,” according to an order signed by the chairman. Smith said the problem has not been addressed, and it is past the deadline.

He said his questions to the mayor were directed to the city attorney, who said he could not discuss the matter.

However, in the meeting, city attorney John Hollis Jackson asked Driver if he would like him to speak on the issue. The mayor agreed.

An attorney from Stella-Jones was present but did not make comments in the public meeting.

“I don’t know where this is headed, and we are not going to discuss any court cases in here,” Driver said.

Jackson explained that Stella-Jones had appealed the order in Circuit Court. When the appeal was filed, the company was no longer obligated to meet the July deadline.

“At that time, the two parties agreed that they would … discuss a resolution to this that would take care of the situation,” Jackson said.

Meetings have been held, and Stella-Jones has agreed to try some new ways of addressing the issue.

Jackson said the engineer for the city and the engineer for Stella-Jones will be looking at solutions.

Smith said the company had said when it opened that there would not be a problem, and what they have tried in the past has not fixed the issue.

“We just feel like they played the city,” Smith said. “They played the county. We feel like the elected leaders are not doing anything to protect the citizens.”

Smith said he and his neighbors have been negatively impacted on a daily basis for the past six years.

Jackson said there might not be a solution to eliminate 100% of the odor.

During the meeting, the Council:

  • Approved a bid from IMMS Inc. Industrial Coating to paint the four storm shelters in the city for $38,375. This was the lowest of the two bids received.
  • Hired a sanitation worker.
  • Approved advertising to hire two police officers.
  • Heard an update from Chilton County Chamber President Billy Singleton. He said the Chamber is averaging four new members a month. He also said the organization would have a copy of their financials to the City Council soon.