Mayor says state should improve county road bridge
by David Lazenby
Nov 19, 2011 | 1301 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CARBON HILL — Mayor Chris Hart told Sen. Greg Reed (R-Jasper) the city needs help from the state to repair the bridge on County Road 11 that crosses Mill Creek when the state senator made an appearance at Thursday’s meeting of the Carbon Hill City Council.

“I would like to see something done to that bridge,” said Hart, who described the bridge adjacent to city schools as “dangerous.”

Hart and other city officials said the condition of the bridge was diminished as a result of the state’s construction of Highway 78.

Previously, when Hart was a member of the Council, the city asked the state to repair the bridge. However, the request was denied.

“They (state officials) said they (the state) didn’t do it,” Hart said about damage to the bridge that has a 16-ton limit. “They tore the bridge up.”

Hart added: “It’s a dangerous situation, especially when you’ve got teenage kids driving to and from school.”

Furthermore, he said if a wreck destroyed the bridge he described as “narrow,” it would hurt the city financially.

“The whole north side of the county would be cut off from Carbon Hill,” Hart said.

Councilor Scott Wright added that the city has to pay $1,500 every six months for an inspection on the bridge.

“Why do we have to pay for an inspection on a bridge that does not belong to the city?” Wright asked.

Reed said he didn’t have an answer to Wright’s question.

Reed asked Hart to put his concern on paper by writing him a letter that specifically describes the situation so that officials with the Alabama Department of Transportation will fully understand the circumstances regarding the bridge.

Reed said he would attach his own letter and get it to the proper ALDOT representative.

Reed also said he is not certain what will be done because of the state’s budget crisis.

“I know that’s also the case with our county. They have to cut back in so many areas,” said Reed.

Also during Thursday’s meeting, councilors appointed Chris Pschirer to fill the unexpired term of District 5 Council Member Horace Jones.

Jones was removed from the Council during a Nov. 3 meeting and his seat was declared vacant.

Prior to Jones’ removal, city officials cited a section of the Code of Alabama that states any elected municipal official who misses all regular or special called meeting for 90 consecutive days may be removed by operation of law.

After he was appointed, Pschirer took his seat among his fellow council members. However, he was not able to take any official action until after he is officially sworn in to office at the Walker County Courthouse. His first meeting as an official on the board will be at the Council’s first meeting in December, which has been postponed from Dec. 1 to Dec. 8.

Pschirer said he looks forward to serving his community as a member of the Council.

Thursday’s meeting was the first with new council member James Johnson, who was selected by the Council on Nov. 3 to fill the unexpired term of Jack Hinds, who resigned from the Council on Oct. 20.

“I’m sure he’s going to be a good asset for us and help us move forward,” Hart said about Johnson.

Police Chief Kenneth Alred announced that another newcomer to the Council, Jacque Roberson, will have a new name when the Council reconvenes on Dec. 8 because he and Roberson will be married on Tuesday.

“I have given her some strong hallucinogenic drugs that have convinced her that I am a good and decent man,” Alred joked about his fiancé, who was selected by the Council to fill the unexpired term of Carol Ann Hackney, who resigned from her District 3 Council seat on July 7.

Alred also spoke to the Council about the need for additional uniform components needed by his officers and discussed a preventative anti-drug program geared toward middle school children to be put on by Carbon Hill police. “I want to go in with an aggressive — graphic if necessary — presentation to say ‘Hey, let me let you talk to this guy or look at these pictures of what this stuff is doing to you,’” Alred said.

Another police matter discussed Thursday covered citizen complaints regarding people walking along city streets at all hours. Johnson requested that Alred have his officers maintain a presence when they see people wandering the streets. “Anyone in their right mind knows if you’re out here after midnight, you’re up to something,” Wright said.

Also during Thursday’s meeting, the Council took the following action:

•Approved a $7,600 bid from Wilson Heating and Cooling to replace a 7.5 ton heat pump for the city’s community center where the Council holds its semi-monthly meetings;

•Discussed buying new Christmas lights next year. Hart said he got a price on 50;

•Made plans for the upcoming Christmas parade to be held Dec. 3. Hart said he encourages area churches to take part in the event.