Council approves garbage ordinance

By JENNIFER COHRON
Posted 9/13/18

CORDOVA — The Cordova City Council passed a garbage ordinance on Tuesday night that includes a $2 monthly fee increase and a strict set of guidelines.Effective Oct. 1, residential rates will …

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Council approves garbage ordinance

Posted

CORDOVA — The Cordova City Council passed a garbage ordinance on Tuesday night that includes a $2 monthly fee increase and a strict set of guidelines.

Effective Oct. 1, residential rates will increase from $12 to $14 per month. Seniors will pay $7 per month. The new rates will be reflected on November's bill.

The ordinance limits the number of cans that customers can have to two. Customers can purchase a permit for an additional can for $7.

Cans can be no larger than 64 gallons and must have a lid. Barrels and bins are prohibited. 

Cans must be unobstructed and placed at the curb prior to the specified pickup time. Alternative arrangements will be made for residents with disabilities.

All trash must be placed in a bag. 

"The point is to get the waste to the curbside so that it is readily accessible for staff to come by and pick it up without too much trouble," city attorney Ben Goldman said.

The ordinance also requires that residential garbage accounts be listed in the property owner's name, though allowances will be made for tenants whose bills are kept in good standing. However, the ordinance places the ultimate responsibility with the property owner.

The ordinance replaces previous ordinances adopted in 1984 and 2010. Proceeds from the rate increase will be used to make the monthly payment on a new garbage truck that council members agreed to purchase at the Aug. 28 meeting.

The cost of the truck is $130,318.32. The rate increase is expected to generate an additional $1,700 per month. 

After approving the new garbage ordinance, council members approved a financing offer from Pinnacle Bank. 

The city also received offers from First Bank of Parrish and Bank of Walker County.

Council members accepted Pinnacle's offer of financing for 84 months at an interest rate of 5.25 percent. The city's estimated monthly payment is $1,865. 

Seven years is half of the anticipated life span of the new truck, according to Mayor Drew Gilbert.

He added that he preferred Pinnacle's financing offer for 84 months rather than 96 months because of the additional interest, or 72 months because making that payment could put the city in a financial bind at times. 

"I believe this keeps us at a payment that will be good for us based on our rate increase, but it is also going to save taxpayers a little over $6,000 in interest by shortening the loan for that year," Gilbert said.

Payment on the truck is not due until construction is completed, which will be at least five months, according to Gilbert. However, he noted that interest rates will likely increase in the near future and by accepting the bank's offer now, the city locked in the current interest rate.

In other action Tuesday, the council: 

• Held a public hearing on an alcohol permit request from Cordova Food and Fuel. 

Cordova Police Chief Nick Smith requested more time to complete the investigation before making a recommendation to the council.

Smith said employees at the gas station, located on Horse Creek Boulevard, had previously sold alcohol to minors. As a result, the business currently has outstanding fines with the state.

"From my understanding, they have changed owners, but they have remained working in the old license. Now that this arose, they have tried to change the license into a new name. I need to further investigate and make sure that if those employees are still working there, whether they have provided any training to those employees to make sure that this doesn't happen again," Smith said. 

• Heard a suggestion from council member Nakia Belser about speaking to representatives of the Walker County Board of Education about sharing the cost of paving some roads around the city's schools. 

In 2016, the city undertook a $75,000 paving project that covered three roads, including School Road, which runs between the former National Guard Armory and Cordova High School.

Moseley Street, which connects to School Road behind the Blue Devils field house, was mentioned as an area of particular concern by Belser.

"That road is absolutely horrible," Belser said. 

• Opened bids from two local companies seeking to provide wrecker services to the city. 

Gilbert said in April that the city had been using several wrecker services on a rotating basis, which was unusual for a municipality. 

Council members passed an ordinance in June that called for a bid to be awarded to a single wrecker service.

Bids were received from Warrior River Truck Parts Inc. and Sheri's One Stop. The bids included nearly a dozen different prices for a range of services.

Gilbert said he would consult with Goldman and bring a recommendation to the council at the Sept. 25 meeting.

Goldman explained to the council that detailed bids were requested for the protection of the public.

"If you were in a wreck, for example, and your vehicle is towed, you have a very good understanding of what you're going to be charged and the city does too. That's why we have so many categories," Goldman said.

• learned that Rhonda Hitchcock has resigned from her District 7 council seat due to conflicts with her work schedule. Hitchcock was appointed to the seat in May to fill the seat vacated by Lauren Vance. Applications for a replacement will be taken at City Hall through Oct. 9. Applicants must live in the district and be a registered voter in the city limits.

• learned that the city's Park and Rec Department and local Boy Scout Troop 114 have teamed up to host a fishing tournament on Saturday, Oct. 27.  The date coincides with the city's annual Trunk or Treat event, with the Truck or Treat occurring after the tournament at 5 p.m.

The tournament is open to paddlers only. Participants can launch from the new Cane Creek access point near Neal Akins Bridge, Disney Lake or Barney Beach.  

Weigh-in will be at 2 p.m. at Disney Lake. 

The entry fee is $10 and a $2 voluntary big fish fee. Proceeds will be split between the winners, Park and Rec and the Boy Scouts Troop 114.

• Learned that the Cordova Police Department has started the "CPD Rocks" project.

Residents are encouraged to paint rocks with a police theme and deliver them to the police station. Officers will hide the rocks around the city and those who find a rock can redeem it for a police patch at the station.

After finding a rock, residents are asked to post a picture and location to Facebook, tag the Cordova Public Safety Page and use the hashtag #CPDROCKS. 

Smith presented the first two patches Tuesday night to Aubrie Bookout, 7, and Zaylie Bookout, 10. Both girls found their rocks at Mojo's.