Council member complains about brush not being picked up

By ED HOWELL, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 5/24/17

CARBON HILL — The Carbon Hill City Council talked recently about problems with picking up brush in the city, as street department crews have left piles behind.

District 2 Councilman Clarence Colbert said at a May 15 work session for the council …

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Council member complains about brush not being picked up

Posted

CARBON HILL — The Carbon Hill City Council talked recently about problems with picking up brush in the city, as street department crews have left piles behind.

District 2 Councilman Clarence Colbert said at a May 15 work session for the council that he has had trouble with the city brush truck since it has been obtained.

“I don’t know if they are so busy cutting grass that they don’t have time to use the brush truck, but when they do use the brush truck, they don’t get everything,” Colbert said. “They will come to one side of the road and pick up everything on that side of the road, and then they won’t come back to the other side, or, if they start on this side — I guess the truck is full, and they will leave to dump and they won’t come back to it” to finish the job.

Mayor Mark Chambers said the truck runs every day, which surprised Colbert.

“We’re carrying seven or eight loads every day,” the mayor said. “I rode around the other day and counted 235 piles of brush.” 

“And they are not picking up in my district at all, until I get to raising so much hell with them,” between calling the mayor and talking to the crews, Colbert said. “There are piles that have been there for two or three weeks, and I stop the driver.” He said he has sometimes called Chambers five or six times just to get one pile removed.

“It just doesn’t make any sense to me. If you have got this job to do, why don’t you do it?” he said.

Chambers said with only four men to work with, the crew could work from daylight to dark and still never get all the brush picked up nor all the grass cut. He said the same four workers have painted the city swimming pool, cut grass at the city parks, repaired benches at the park and spread sand under swings and slides at playgrounds.

The mayor said he once had the same concerns as Colbert, but he followed crews around one day, which changed his mind.

Colbert said, “The folks are eating me up,” complaining to him about the brush not picked up.

Chambers said he is getting even more complaints and calls. He said about 50 people have called the city’s dispatch that week, all calling in complaints about the brush.

“What they don’t understand, that brush is something we do for them for free,” Chambers said. “It’s a luxury. They don’t pay anything for it.” He said the brush truck ran every day for the past two weeks without ceasing.

However, the mayor said he has seen crews picking up one pile and driving past another. He said he has instructed Street Superintendent Alan May to tell the crews to pick up all the piles they encounter.

At the same time, Chambers said the truck is probably being dumped four or five times a day.

Another problem is that some people are buying land and then clearing it off, with the city spending whole days hauling off the brush pushed on the side of the road. “We’ll haul 25 loads off for one person,” he said, noting some piles have been seen for two months.

Chambers also said storms can cause brush to pile up. One recent storm blew down probably 200 loads of brush in the city, he said. “It takes a while to catch up” when that happens.

He told Colbert hears more complaints to tell them to call Chambers.