Changes approved for Clanton sanitation department

By STEVEN CALHOUN/Staff Writer

The Clanton City Council met Monday, Oct. 10 for a regularly scheduled meeting.

The big topic of the night was the sanitation department. Jeff Price discussed concerns from citizens in West End about trash beside the streets and unkempt right of ways.

According to Price, the council went through the budget and discovered that the recycling department had a budget of $100,000 but was only bringing in $6,000 of cardboard because most big stores do their own recycling. He said the city was losing $90,000 a year in that department.

A motion was made to phase out the recycling department by Nov. 1 and move the two workers to the street department. This motion was approved.

“The sanitation department is losing half a million dollars,” said Price. “We have expenses of $1.4 million with the garbage, and we only bring in $880,000 in garbage fees.”

The current garbage rate in Clanton is $15 a month, and $60 for a business. Price proposed to raise fees to $20 and $70, respectively. The council approved this change as well.

Mayor Driver expressed his concern about what he has seen by the roads in Clanton. He said people are dumping trash from outside the county on the side of the road to be picked up by city workers. Tree limbs, palettes and other waste products have to be hauled and add costs for the city.

“So far this year we’ve bought two new trucks: a new garbage truck and a new limb truck at the tune … of about $300,000,” said Driver.

Price believes the new changes will add workers to help management of the streets and alleviate some of the financial stress on the department.

 

In other business:

  • Bills for the library and to Independent Fence totaling $57,000 were approved to be paid.
  • Expansion of the original boundaries of phase two of the sewer rehab project was approved. The project was expanded to serve additional beneficiaries with sewer improvements to Jackson Ave, Lee Ave and Taylor Ave.
  • Speaks & Speaks law office has been okayed to move to a new location that will be rezoned under a commercial zoning instead of residential.
  • The hiring of Craig Headley as assistant park director was approved.
  • A liquor license for Brian’s Texas Steakhouse was approved for a location at 200 Town Mart.
  • Brent Overton was approved to be hired Oct. 13 at the Clanton Police Department.
  • Robert Binion addressed the council, asking for the starting wage to be raised for city workers. Binion claimed that wages are at $10 an hour and up for first hires in other cities in the county, but in Clanton, city workers are only making $8 and some change per hour at first. He cited tough times, a bad economy and people having to work two jobs as reasons to raise the starting wage.
  • Bids to fix a drainage problem that is running water into townhomes at Park Drive North have been talked about for many months, according to Driver. The low bid was $49,850. Concerned they need to fix it before it starts raining again, the council approved the acceptance of the bid. One citizen was nearly in tears at the announcement that the problem would be fixed.
  • The West End Neighborhood Watch asked what could be done about people parking to talk and blocking the flow of traffic on 4th Avenue, 14th Street and Martin Luther. An ordinance was mentioned as a possible solution, and Keith Maddox said the police would go Tuesday to assess their options. Mayor Driver suggested issuing warning tickets to people who are parking where they should not, as there are already signs that say “No Parking,” but people are ignoring the signs.

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