Council votes for new, mandatory garbage pickup service in town

By NICOLE SMITH, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 9/20/17

OAKMAN — The Town of Oakman voted Monday night to incorporate a new, mandatory garbage pickup service.

The Walker County Solid Waste Department has …

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Council votes for new, mandatory garbage pickup service in town


OAKMAN — The Town of Oakman voted Monday night to incorporate a new, mandatory garbage pickup service.

The Walker County Solid Waste Department has been picking up trash for residents, but the town has voted to now use Republic Services for residential and commercial garbage pickup. At previous council meetings, Oakman Mayor Cory Franks said the change in garbage services would create a revenue stream for the town.

Republic Services will charge residents $12.30 each month for residential garbage pick up, and the town will collect an additional $1.40 per month on the garbage bill, for a total of $13.70.

Franks said the savings on garbage pick up will balance the recent sewer rate increase.

“By raising the sewage rates $1.40, we’re giving the people in Oakman an opportunity to pay $1.40 less for garbage pick up,” Franks said.

Residents in Oakman will be provided with further details on the garbage pick up schedule, and will be given new garbage cans from Republic Services.

All council members and Mayor Franks approved the motion for mandatory garbage pick up through Republic Services, with the exception of council member Crystal Lewis, who abstained.

No statements were made at the council meeting as to when the company’s service would start in Oakman.

In other business, the council:

•approved for the town to obtain a credit card with a $500 limit.

Franks said the town’s auditor suggested applying for a credit card to help build the town’s credit again. He added that the card will only be used for town necessities. Such purchases could be made for Oakman’s fire department, police department, senior center and so on. Franks said the card would never be used to pay bills.

Town Clerk Lisa Lockhart said the credit card will be issued by Pinnacle Bank, who has offered the best rate and is a major sponsor of the upcoming Day’s Gap Festival.

Council member Colt Courington said he wants the town to keep a meticulous record of each purchase made with the card.

•heard from Oakman Volunteer Fire Department Chief Shane Calloway, who assured everyone that the town is still getting a storm shelter. He is waiting on a statement from the Alabama Emergency Management Agency to declare a start and end date for the construction.

“We are going to get it. It’s just taking a little bit of time. Everyone please bear with us,” Calloway said.

The fire chief also said people in the town should notify the fire department if they need their help with an event held in the area, since they do work on a volunteer basis and would need notice to plan on providing assistance.

Franks spoke in favor of the department’s request.

“They operate on a voluntary basis, so if you need the fire department to be part of an event, then you should expect to have some type of donation or something to give to them for coming out and participating in whatever it is that you want them to participate in,” he said.

•was informed by a resident that a ditch at the corner of Peach Street and Spring Street in Oakman has created a hazard for a school bus that travels the route.

Lockhart and Franks said the Walker County Commission has been contacted about repairing the road, but no action has been taken by the county to correct the issue that poses a threat to those traveling the road.

“We contacted District 3, and they’re supposed to be out as soon as possible,” Lockhart said. Franks added, “At this time, we’ve addressed the issue. It just hasn’t been fixed. We have to wait. The county, they’re in a situation where they may be losing workers or may not have the adequate number of people to get that job done right at this second.”

Oakman Police Chief Ken Marbury said he would put caution tape around the ditch while they await a response from the county.

•heard from Marbury that someone in the town — who plans to campaign against Franks in the next municipal elections — is attempting to create a fictional feud between he and the mayor.

Marbury responded to the accusation, to which he received applause from those in attendance of the meeting.

“At the end of the day, we all have to answer for what we do, and I have a saying in my life. If anybody sends me to hell, it’s going to be Ken Marbury. I can assure you, it won’t be the next person,” Marbury said.

Later in the meeting, Franks said, “The only thing I’m trying to do is better the town of Oakman, and we’ve got to get away from ‘that’s just the way things have always been.’ When I was running for mayor, when I stood right here and got sworn in by Circuit Judge Jerry Selman, I told each and every person here that things are going to be different.

“That’s the path that we’re on, and I’m not going to veer away from it. I just hope everybody can get on board with that and understand that everything that we do and every decision that I feel needs to be on the agenda is only for the betterment of Oakman.”