Council hears update on water problems
by Chris Norwood
TALLADEGA — The City Council heard an update from Water and Sewer Director Chuck Thomerson concerning ongoing water problems in the Forest Hills area Monday night. The problems stem from the closure of the Mount Olive well and subsequent change in flow direction, among others.

Thomerson explained that contact had been made with all the customers that previously signed a petition, delivery of bottled water and iron stain remover were continuing and interior plumbing was discussed. Regular flushing is taking place every Tuesday and Friday, and work is under way to lay a new, six inch PVC main. Some 1,600 feet of pipe has been laid already, but Thomerson said it was difficult to determine an end date because of all of the rock being encountered. A new type of zinc coating will be added to the pipes as well. During a separate action item Monday night, the council approved the purchase of the new chemical for $8,726.

A water model is also being developed to determine solutions for some other issues in the area.

Completion of the new PVC line will not address all the issues in the area, however. Many of the houses in the area still have metal pipes dating back to the early 1940s, and while the new chemical treatments will help, there will continue to be some discoloration until the pipes on the resident’s side of the meter are replaced.

The current projects will also not directly address problems on Mount Olive Circle, which will be included in the water model, Thomerson explained.

Councilman Ricky Simpson said he had spent a few hours with the crew replacing the main, and commended them for their hard work.

During the same meeting, City Manager Brian Muenger announced the traffic signal at the new 275 Bypass and Alabama 77 would go into blinking mode Wednesday, and a portion of the road would be open to traffic Thursday. The entire bypass is tentatively scheduled to open Nov. 12, pending striping and completion of the punch list. The proposed repaving of Battle Street, three sides of the square and East Street up to Alabama 77 was delayed due to the city having to move a water line, and it was unclear if the project could be done this year, Muenger said.

He added that opening of the full bypass would cause truck traffic to migrate from Eastaboga Road and other streets that were not designed to handle large trucks. Council President Donnie Miller said he encountered one such truck turning onto Alabama 21 off Eastaboga Road and had to back up to let it pass.

Also Monday, the council:

• Agreed to lease space at the B.N. Mabra Center to the Harvest Center Group Corporation, a non-profit, grassroots community outreach program and small business incubator.

• Saw Mayor Larry Barton present a proclamation to Tom Lloyd and Nettie Goodwin of the Talladega Housing Authority honoring an AARP driver’s education program for veterans hosted by the housing authority.

• Approved a $2,000 appropriation to help send the Talladega High School Robotics Team to the regional competition in Auburn. Councilman Jarvis Elston said he would make an individual donation as well.

• Heard Muenger announce the city had been turned down for a Historic Preservation grant to repair the roof at Heritage Hall. There is money in the city’s capital improvement budget for this project.

• Approved a liquor license application for Yamato’s Japanese Steak House.

• Agreed, after some discussion, to increase the delivery license fee from $100 per year to $120 for companies that do not have any other kind of license to operate in the city. The revised ordinance is based on state statute.

• Extended the user agreement with Magic City Aquatics League to use the indoor pool at the Spring Street Recreation Center.

• Approved a contract with Fleetmatics for an automatic vehicle locator system at $13,924 per year.

• Approved a contract with Hutto Construction for demolition of condemned structures at $9,475. Three requests for extension for condemned structures were refused.

• Approved the Airport Board’s application for improvement project funds through the state Department of Transportation.

• Approved a contract to replace a pump and motor at the Taylor’s Mill Raw Water Pumping station at $53,000.

• Closed the Mump Creek Reservoir for recreational purpose and refunded outstanding licenses.

• Heard Elston remind everyone to vote for the candidate of their choice today.

• Announced that the next council meeting will be Nov. 19.

Further coverage of Monday’s meeting will appear in Wednesday’s Daily Home.

Contact Chris Norwood at cnorwood@dailyhome.com.

© 2012