Council discusses reinforcement of decades-old ordinance

The Rainsville City Council discussed the reinforcing of the preexisting Ordinance 5-21-96 that requires a permit in connection with installation or repairs of utilities under city streets.

Councilman Bejan Taheri said the ordinance had been on the books since May 21, 1996 and would be reinforced from now on.

Section I states: “No person, business, entity or utility company nor anyone acting on their behalf may install or repair utilities under a city street without first obtaining from the clerk’s office of the City of Rainsville a permit for this purpose.”

Section II states: “A permit will be issued only following a deposit in such sum as established from time to time, by the city council for the City of Rainsville or the provision of an acceptable indemnity or surety bond guaranteeing performance by the person, business or entity seeking the permit. The deposit will be refunded if the street is repaired to as good or better condition as the same existed before the repairs or installation. If the street is not repair to as good or better condition as the same existed before said repair or installation of utilities within 30 days after the same are completed, then the city will proceed to repair the same. The expenses incurred by the city in restoring the street will be the responsibility of the one performing the repairs or installation under the street and the one for whom said person or entity was acting. The deposit will be applied toward these expenses.”

Taheri said upon the completion of work, the Rainsville city engineer would inspect the road to verify the road was left “as good as it was before the work began.”

The council and mayor discussed the prevention of future damage by utilities done to the roads the city has recently fixed, the amount of money spent on repairs and the rough spots and speed bumps created by boring too close to the road.

Taheri said letters would be sent out to any utility company that works in the city, informing them of the ordinance.

“If anyone has any questions, they can come to [Rainsville] City Hall or the next council meeting and discuss this,” he said.

During the discussion, the dollar amount of a bond or deposit was brought up and the addition of a penalty for violations.

The issue was tabled until the next meeting so that revisions could be made to the existing ordinance.

Also during the meeting, the council heard the second reading of Ordinance 01-20-2020 regarding establishing the salaries of the mayor and council members.

Councilman Brandon Freeman said this ordinance does not pertain to the current administration but the next and also involves insurance.

“If whoever is elected the next administration takes this insurance, it does not cost the City of Rainsville one penny,” he said.

He clarified that whoever takes the insurance, mayor or council, they would have to finance the payment themselves and no expense would be left to the city of Rainsville.

Regarding the insurance, Councilman Ricky Byrum said it was a mandatory thing they had to offer now.

Freeman confirmed the statement saying, “it has to be offered.”

Consideration of Ordinance 1-20-2020 to set the mayor and city council salaries for the next administration passed on the second reading.

Councilman Marshall Stiefel voted against the ordinance, and Councilman Derek Rosson was absent from Monday's meeting.

The council also heard updates from the following departments:

• Fire Chief Willimac Wright announced the Rainsville Fire Department has a four-story tower from the Alabama Fire College.

“We will be using it for the students and volunteers throughout the county doing bailouts and repelling,” he said.

Wright also announced the department received a grant for nine-volt batteries for smoke detectors. He said they have several hundred if anyone in the community needs any, and they will help them out.

Wright informed the council of the completion of the brush truck the Rainsville Fire Department had been working on throughout the fall. He said it is in service now and invited the council to see it during the break.

• Eric Samples, chairman of the Public Building Authority announced the Northeast Alabama Agri-Business Center would have Made in DeKalb on Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday they have IEA Zone 4 regional 10 finals.

Samples informed the council a contract was signed Monday with the National Little Britches Rodeo Association and they would be coming to Rainsville.

• Byrum informed the public Saturday night is the Rainsville Masonic Lodge Chili Cook-off Supper from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Tom Bevill Enrichment Center and he would like everybody to come out.

The council also:

• approved to open bids for the turning lane on Hwy 75 South at 5 p.m. on March 2.

• approved the placement of street lights at the following locations: corner of Sam Ellis Drive NW and Hancock Drive NW, 109 Sand Mountain Drive, Barrett Street and George Wallace Drive with a pole at $300.00.

• approved to send Sheila Townsend and Kennedi Traylor to local government training classes on April 1-3.

• accepted Kevin Brown Excavating bid of $2,100.00 for the Skaggs Road drainage structure, labor only.

• approved to transfer Government Capital Improvement Account from First Southern State Bank to Winsouth Bank.

• approved to move the next council meeting from Feb. 17 to Feb. 20.

• approved to pay half of $15,000 the Freedom Fest entertainment, Little Texas.

• accepted the bid from First Quality Homes & Construction, Inc for the repairs to the roof and inside of the Rainsville Public Library at $31,354 with the insurance company paying $30,861. The city will pay the different of $493.00.

• approved to send Rainsville Police Chief Kevin Smith and Officer Luke Yarborough to Fire Arms Instruction Class training. Upon completion, the police department would have someone in-house to do the firearm training.

• approved to send the city clerk and assistant clerk to clerk training in Birmingham.

• accepted Sandy Goff’s resignation from the Zoning Board.

• An executive session was held to discuss pending litigations. No action was taken.

The next council meeting is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2020 with a workshop at 4:15 p.m. and regular session at 5 p.m.

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