PIEDMONT – Several outgoing council members said their goodbyes during Tuesday’s Piedmont city council meeting, including 24-year servicewoman Mary “Millie” Bramblett.
In recognition of her service to the city, Mayor Bill Baker and the council presented Bramblett a plaque honoring her dedication as an elected official.
“We felt it was very, very important we do this,” Baker said. “A lot of people don’t serve that long. They basically serve a term or two. Every year that you serve is certainly special, but Millie has served her district for 24 years, and she’s done it very, very faithfully.”
Bramblett, Piedmont’s District 2 representative, was humbled in accepting the plaque.
“I just want to say thank you, and I love you all,” she said. “I looked back today and I was thinking I hear a lot about mayors and councils, but I never served on a council that the mayor and the council didn’t put 100 percent into their jobs. People who criticize need to sit up here and make decisions.”
Several of Bramblett’s family members attended Tuesday’s meeting, including her sons Frankie and Horace Bramblett and Esther Martin.
Other outgoing council members include Ben Keller (District 1), Doug Dickeson (District 3), Matt Rogers (District 4) and Bobby Hardin (District 6).
“I would like to thank each council member for the service they have provided to the city. It’s been an honor to serve with each and every one of you all,” Baker said. “You don’t always agree on everything, but I think we’ve agreed on most everything, and I appreciate that. We are all individuals and we have our own opinions on things. For the most part, I think we’ve worked very, very well together. I appreciate every one of you. There’s not a person up here sitting at this table that I know who doesn’t care 100 percent about the City of Piedmont. I just appreciate your efforts and everything you’ve done.
“I want to encourage you to please come back and visit us and help with suggestions and continue to be part of the city. There are so many ways we can serve, not just as an elected official, but as regular citizens trying to do what’s best for the City of Piedmont.”
The council heard from City Project Manager Carl Hinton concerning the options the city had for repairing or replacing the city’s 1990 Ford model leaf truck. The truck has damage to the tailgate which has left it inoperable.
“I met with Jimmy Donaldson (Tuesday) morning. He looked over the truck and said his professional opinion was he would not try to rebuild it,” Hinton said. “He said the bed is not worth fixing.
“We’ve looked at a couple of other avenues. We looked at possibly the old sign truck we’ve got, taking the bed off of it and letting him put the bed on it. We looked at the old knuckle boom truck, taking the knuckle boom off of it and putting the bed on it. Jimmy finally said that his best opinion would be if we could find an old dump truck that was a standard dump truck with a dump bed. He could probably build a canopy top for it that our leaf sucker would fit in to. Basically it would save us a lot of money. He said it would take $20-$25,000 to redo an old truck. He said if we could find a dump truck that would work, he’s talking about $5,000 putting a canopy top down to the leaf blower.”
Baker said the city would check with other neighboring cities to see if they have any dump trucks for sale. He also mentioned searching surplus online to see what’s available.
Police chief Freddie Norton provided the council with police, abatement and fire updates from September.
The police department had at total of 79 arrests for the month. Twenty of those arrests were felony arrests. Officers issued 41 traffic citations during the month and five traffic accidents were worked. There were 383 calls dispatched for service, with 94 of those calls resulted in reports being filed. The dispatch office received 2,309 phone calls and dispatched 637 rescue calls and 29 fire calls. Court collections were in the amount of $21,221.99.
On abatement, there were 29 total cases, including 11 new yard cases, no new house cases, four total new cases and eight cases being processed. Eight cases were also completed. There were no contracts on structure, no court appearances, and three verbal contracts.
On animal control, there were five calls for service. Eighteen animals were picked up. Five were taken to the shelter and 13 were reclaimed by the owner.
In other business from Tuesday’s meeting, the council approved bills for payment in the amount of $434,974.42 and two weeks of payroll for $117,936.51. Minutes were also approved for the Oct. 6 and Oct. 13 meetings.
Before adjourning, Baker reminded everyone in attendance of the President Donald Trump rally downtown this Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon. Baker said it was his understanding that Alabama State Representative Mike Rogers will be attending the event.
The city will also hold its annual downtown trick-or-treat on Oct. 31 from 4-6 p.m.