Rainsville works with ADEM after cited violations

The Rainsville City Council during Monday night’s work session heard from engineer James Payton of Ladd Engineering regarding a consent order from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) for the city of Rainsville.

Payton said the city received a consent order from ADEM that said the Waste Water Treatment Plant had violations, and they are proposing the order, which would be something Rainsville would have to agree to get in compliance.

The order involves a period of two years, said Payton, in which toxicity tests of the treatment plan were performed.

“There’ve been several tests that have come back that indicated there are some toxicity problems in their efforts for lake water,” he said. “That was the primary thing that they flagged Rainsville on, and the second was the Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO). There were some instances where wastewater had overflowed at manholes and the system, some of it is due to excessive rainfall and the pumps that failback to back.”

Payton said ADEM also included a fine of $4,400 in the order as well as required compliance.

Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt said all the issues had been documented and turned in to ADEM by the city.

“You work with them, but they still have the right to fine you,” he said. “They are trying to help us, the community and the water.”

Lingerfelt said some of the issues came with the failure of two pumps on Scott Street.

“Those pumps failed exactly 32 days after the warranty ran out, and both of them failed at the same time, so we had a spill in the creek,” he said.

The second spill came from a tank that had received work and bolts where left loose Lingerfelt said all was documented.

“We are doing the right thing by moving forward and getting it fixed. Whatever [Payton] comes up within the preparations for the repairs is what we are going to try to do,” he said.

Lingerfelt said they had been in contact with ADEM over the last couple of weeks and got the process started.

“We actually got the fine reduced from $5,400 drown to $4,400,” he said. “It’s something we have to work through.”

Councilman Bejan Taheri said over the last few years, they’ve had a lot of rain, and some of the problems that occurred they can’t help.

The council authorized Lingerfelt to sign the ADEM consent order and then start the process of fixing the issues.

The council also heard updates from the following departments and councilmen:

Lingerfelt announced Rainsville employee, Ricky Leroy Campbell, 66, of Rainsville passed away on Oct. 18, 2020. Campbell had retired but had come back to work part-time as a driver.

“He was a really good guy and did a good job with his work. He is going to be missed considerably,” he said. “Wanted to ask everyone to keep that family in their prayers.”

Assistant Police Chief Matt Crum said the Rainsville Police Department has been working on string lining the department specifically their training. He said some officers will undergo instructor training and would be able to train the rest of the department in-house.

Rainsville Fire Chief WilliMac Wright said the fire department is currently working with the schools on Fire Prevention.

Rainsville Library Director Sarah Cruze announced the library will be hosting a Halloween event on Friday, Oct. 30 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kids are welcome to come by the library and receive a goody bag and a craft to take with them.

Rainsville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sandy Goff reminded the public the Trunk-or-Treat is on Oct. 31 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Rainsville City Park. She said they will be following CDC regulations for the event including social distancing.

The council also:

• accepted Rainsville Police Chief Kevin Smith’s Resignation effective Nov. 1, 2020.

– Editor’s note: Look for more information in an upcoming edition of the Times-Journal.

• approved to issue Kevin Smith’s service weapon to him.

• approved the cleaning of headworks at the Waste Water Treatment Plant from Jones Utility at $4,600. The process must be done approximately every two years.

• approved the purchase of a Gradall XL400 at $12,500 including delivery to Rainsville, used for drainage work, pavement repair, culvert replacement and mowing.

• approved a Proclamation declaring the month of October Dwarfism Awareness and Acceptance Month.

• accepted a Proclamation declaring the month of November National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.

• approved the removal of two stop signs located at the three-way near Chavies Bridge to replace them with speed bumps and new signs. Lingerfelt voted “no.”

An executive session was held to discuss ongoing litigation. No action was taken.

Councilman Marshall Stiefel was absent from Monday’s meeting due to quarantine.

The next council meeting is scheduled for Nov. 2, 2020, at 5 p.m in the Tom Bevill Enrichment Center. Newly elected council members will be sworn in at this meeting.

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