Council votes to apply for $250K grant to improve water system
by Daniel Gaddy
May 06, 2012 | 1039 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CARBON HILL — The Carbon Hill City Council on Thursday voted to apply for a $250,000 grant that would go toward improvements to the municipality’s water system.

The council unanimously approved the measure introduced by Mayor Chris Hart. The Community Development Block Grant requires a $40,000 match from the City of Carbon Hill.

Hart also announced during Tuesday’s meeting that he met with state lawmakers Sen. Greg Reed (R-Jasper) and Rep. Richard Baughn (R-Lynn) as well as Walker County Commissoner Dan Wright to talk about securing state funds to improve the Mill Creek Bridge.

Hart and several council members have said the bridge has deteriorated much faster than comparable roadways because of heavy traffic during the construction of Interstate 22.

Hart said the lawmakers told him they would help get any available funds.

“I am hoping that here within the next week or so I can get a meeting with the governor,” Hart said.

In other business, the council:

• Heard a report from Carbon Hill Police Chief Heath Allred, who told the council that he will be running for the office of vice president of the Alabama Association of Chiefs of Police. Allred is currently vice president of the group. He said that, though he will be required to travel to Montgomery on occasion, he will not be out of town any more than he already is.

Allred also said the Alabama Legislature is considering three bills that will affect the department and the City of Carbon Hill. One measure will add $80 to the court costs associated with a traffic ticket. He said that money will go to the state and not the City of Carbon Hill.

Allred said state lawmakers are also considering legislation that would loosen restrictions of — if not do away with — pistol permits. Allred said the bill is opposed by the Alabama Chiefs of Police and several other law enforcement groups. He said the measure will put officers’ lives at risk.

“Law abiding citizens don’t mind paying $20 once a year and having a background check,” he said.

Another measure the Alabama Legislature is considering will raise bail bonds by 40 percent. Allred said many of the City of Carbon Hill’s inmates could not make bail if the rates are increased by that amount.

“And the longer we have them the more liability and costs we have,” he said.

• Voted to accept a motion by council member Chris Pschirer to rescind his vote to appoint Joe Killingsworth back on to the city’s utilities board. Pschirer said the change was due to pending litigation.

Killingsworth was part of a group of former utility board members that brought a suit against the City of Carbon Hill, saying they were fired without proper cause.

• Voted to change a policy for renting the community center to wrestling groups. The measure changed the status of the events from nonprofit to commercial, which will increase the rental deposit from $100 to $300 for the organizations.

After the meeting, Pschirer announced that the Carbon Hill Utilities Board will instate a $30 service fee whenever a city employee has to turn off a resident’s water. He said that is in addition to a $75 lock-off fee.

The new fee is meant to offset the costs of city workers having to go back and forth to turn a residents water off and then back on once they have paid the bill — often in the same day.