Carbon Hill City Council

Carbon Hill working through needs in city

Mayor: City having to prioritize based on costs

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CARBON HILL - The Carbon Hill City Council started a work session Thursday night with a long list of actions - such as uprooted trees, washed out drains, stopped up culverts and roads - that need to be seen about around town, as submitted by Fire Chief Buddy Smith. 

Tuesday night's formal meeting was delayed to Thursday, and Mayor April Kennedy Herron called a work session for the council an hour before the formal meeting. 

Herron noted that Smith made a list for the council "without context," so she went through the list for the council, noting some items have already been handled or are currently being worked on. The list was the main reason for the 5 p.m. work session being called, she said. 

Herron noted the expense of bring up stumps in some areas, which is why some of them have not been completely removed yet. She also noted the expense of other projects, sometimes costing maybe $5,000. 

"We can't do them all at the same time," she said. "We just can't fiscally do it. I mean, it's a lot of money. We are addressing some of the worst ones in town, where we had the worst flooding this last time, and that was a priority. As we get priorities done, we are kind of backing up. There has been a lot of run off over the winter, and drains have been stopped up, so we are going to get them cleaned up - but things take time." 

Funds are being built up to handle some of the larger projects, while some of the smaller projects are being handled now as the city can afford to do that, she said. 

"Hopefully when we get some of this extra money from Covid, we can use some of that to do some of the bigger projects," Herron said. 

The list noted a culvert at NW 10th Avenue and Dogtown Road was stopped up, causing water to back up across the road and letting garbage wash into the woods. District 3 David Phillips said that involved trash and garbage piled into the ditch, which has not washed away. Herron said that will fall under the nuisance ordinance and will be up to the residence to clean. Phillips said it seemed also like a litter situation to him as the garbage has washed away to elsewhere. 

"They are causing a nuisance, number one, a safety hazard, number two, and breaking the law, number three," he said. Herron asked Police Chief Antoine Cobb to approach the residents there not to put garbage in the ditch and to clean up the trash. 

She also noted some items on the list involved driveways, which will be the residents' responsibility to take care of their culverts. Phillips said many seem to misunderstand the difference between city right of way and city property.

"Just because it is on the city right of way doesn't mean it is the city is responsible for fixing these things," he said. Herron agreed with that, saying a drain under the driveway is the resident's responsibility to keep cleaned out. 

"Now, if you have a problem with your culvert and it has caved in and stuff, if you will come to the City Hall, we will try to help you," she said. "You have to maintain your own stuff. I have got one right now that is caved in and needs replacing. I can't get (Street Superintendent Alan May) out there to fix it. It is mine, even though it is on the right of way. I've replaced it before and I will have to replace it again."