Parrish council issues final ultimatum


Parrish town leaders issued a final ultimatum to Big Sky Environmental LLC in Adamsville during Monday's council meeting.

"If the last of the rail cars transporting the sewage sludge is not removed from our town by April 23, the Town of Parrish will file a lawsuit and injunction against Big Sky Environmental and its affiliates," Parrish Mayor Heather Hall said during the meeting. 

Some 250 rail cars containing bio-solid sewage waste materials have been sitting on a Norfolk-Southern Railway spur located near downtown Parrish for several months. The containers were initially being transported by rail to Big Sky Environmental from locations in New York and New Jersey. 

"We have been working really, really close with our legislative delegation in Montgomery to resolve this issue. And I know every time we talk about a time line it's two weeks, two weeks, and two weeks," Hall said. "But one of our legislators asked us to give Big Sky at least one month to remove the containers, and that was two weeks ago. And they have only two more weeks left on that timeline to get these containers out of our community." 

Hall said about two-thirds of the rail cars have been removed, but about 80 containers still remain at the railway spur in Parrish.

"We (the Parrish Town Council and the citizens of Parrish) have been very patient," Hall said. "But our patience is running very thin. We want this stuff out of our town."

Hall said if the containers were not gone by Monday, April 23, the Town of Parrish has the full support of Montgomery to file an injunction against Big Sky and its affiliates.

"I have also received several phone calls about the rail cars being taken up Alabama Highway 269 towards Jasper, where they are allegedly being dumped in an old strip pit close to the Jasper City limits," Hall said. "I was able to verify that information, and I have contacted the proper authorities to let them know the material is no longer being taken to Big Sky." 

Hall said she not only notified the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) regarding the latest issue in regards to the rail cars, she also notified the Walker County Commission and the City of Jasper.

"This latest problem regarding these rail cars is totally an issue for the Walker County Commission and the City of Jasper," Hall said. "But however they want to handle it, we will stand behind them. Because we don't want it here and I know they don't want it there."

 In other council business, Hall and her fellow council members, William Smith, Bubba Cagle, Jake Williams, John Softley, and Kathy Thomas, also gave their approval on the following items.

 • Apply for a $550,000 grant to aid in the removal of some of the derelict structures as well as possibly help repair some of the town's streets.

 • Move a part-time employee with the Parrish Street Department, Frankie Sudduth, to full time. 

 • Establish a new Beautification Program for the Town of Parrish. Hall said a meeting about this new volunteer program will be held Monday, April 16, at 6 p.m. at the Parrish Town Hall. And anyone interested in participating is invited to attend.

 Hall also announced that the Town of Parrish's Splash Pad would open May 5 for party reservations only. 

 "We've received numerous calls about reserving our Splash Pad for school parties, so we decided to open it a little early for party reservations only," Hall said. "The Splash Pad will open to the general public on May 26, and the admission will remain the same as last year, $2 per person."