PIEDMONT – The Piedmont City Council approved spending for several needs during its regular meeting on Tuesday.
The largest amount the council approved was $232,078 for modernized fire and police department radios. The funding will come out of American Rescue Plan money.
District 3 Councilman Jubal Feazell made a motion to purchase six radios to be installed for the console, 25 fire department radios and 20 handhelds for the police department, nine radios for the fire department trucks, and 13 radios and three docking stations for police cars.
A total of $25,260 out of COVID funds was also approved to purchase six eight-yard dumpsters, six six-yard dumpsters, and two four-yard dumpsters for city businesses.
“We are completely out of dumpsters,” Piedmont Mayor Bill Baker said. “We have people who are asking for some dumpsters. If we have a new business coming in, we don’t have a dumpster to give them.”
The council also approved $19,200 from COVID funds for the installation of a sewer lift station behind Stroked Out Diesel, located off of Highway 278 beside Gregerson’s Cash Saver at the Piedmont Shopping Plaza. Pumps in the amount of $4,125 were also approved.
“This will handle the flow that’s coming from the shopping center and that area,” Water, Gas and Sewer Superintendent Byrian Watts said. “There have been problems for years there. We’ve put band aids on it. Regulations have changed over the years. It’s not really been kept up with.
“This is one of the issues that we’ve got to address. We don’t have a choice. Either we do it or we’re going to get fined probably (by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management).”
The council also agreed to enter into a lease agreement with the City of Jacksonville to pay 40 percent for an essential piece of equipment to operate the Jacksonville-Piedmont Landfill.
Baker said he spoke with Jacksonville Mayor Johnny Smith, who said the piece of equipment that was purchased in 2013 is worn out and needs replacing.
“I need to point out we use this landfill on a regular basis. We carry stuff to it on a regular basis. We’re responsible for 40 percent of this landfill,” Baker said.
Baker said the City of Jacksonville would purchase the equipment needed for the landfill and would try to sell the old piece.
“They’re going to ask $100,000 for it. We would get 40 percent of that. They would get 60 percent of that,” Baker said. “The $40,000, if they got $100,000 (for the old equipment), could be applied toward future monthly expenses, given this lease agreement. We broke it down, and our cost would be a $2,327.12 monthly payment for the next five years. If we get 40 percent of the sale, we could roughly pay for 17 months of lease payments. That would be good for us.
“I think it’s something we really don’t have a whole lot of choice on. We use this landfill. We need to continue to use it, but we’ve got to have the equipment to operate it.”
Acting City Clerk Carl Hinton presented the council with a revised budget based on actual expenses for this year. Hinton said the city’s revenue came out to $12.8 million, with expenditures in the amount of $12.3 million.
“There’s about a $450,000 difference to the good of what we brought in versus what we’ve spent,” Hinton said.
The council voted to table voting on the budget at its next scheduled meeting on Oct. 5.
Baker also made a proclamation that the week of Sept. 12-18, 2021 serve as National Assisted Living Week in Piedmont. Baker read from the proclamation, urging all citizens to virtually visit or call a loved one, family friend or friend residing in any care setting or spend time participating in various virtual activities to unite those from all walks of life in need of our continuing love and support, and to learn more about how assisted living services benefit Calhoun County.
In other council action, two grass-cutting resolutions were passed. One is located at 408 McKee Street and the other along U.S. Highway 278 going toward Cedartown, Ga.
Minutes from the previous meeting were also approved, as were bills for payment totaling $644,138.67.
In the monthly police, abatement and animal control reports, Piedmont Police Chief Nathan Johnson said the police department made a total of 41 arrests on 73 charges for the month of August. Ten of those arrests were felonies with 18 charges.
Officers issued 33 traffic citations and worked six traffic accidents during the month. Officers were also dispatched on 277 calls for service, with 99 of those resulting in reports being filed. The public safety dispatch office received 2,174 phone calls and dispatched 653 rescue calls and 39 fire calls.
Court collections were made in the amount of $16,124.
In the abatement report for August, there were 20 total cases, including 10 yard cases and 10 new cases. Thirty old cases were worked, with 13 of those completed. There were two contracts on structure, two court appearances and three verbal contracts.
In animal control for August, there were 12 calls for service with 30 animals picked up. Four were taken to the shelter and 26 were reclaimed by the owner.