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Garbage complaints highlight meeting

LaFAYETTE — A LaFayette area woman upset with her garbage collection complained about it to the Chambers County Commission on Monday.

Lynda Hubbard said the company the county was contracting with was a joke and that complaints fell on deaf ears with them because “they were a bunch of jerks.”

Hubbard said she had moved to the country 34 years ago for peace and privacy and that for many years her garbage service was satisfactory. It was being picked up like clockwork, and those picking it up did very good work. The service lately, though, has not been good at all.

“I have to call them lots of times to pick up my trash,” she said. “The last time we had weather trouble, it was a week and a day before they picked it up, and they charged me for it anyway. Whatever happened to free enterprise and having a choice?”

Hubbard said the present system was more like socialism, when the government didn’t give you any options.

“I understand your problem, but it’s really no different from what I have in Lanett,” said Board Chairman Charlie Williams. “When my trash doesn’t get picked up I have to pay anyway. The county would like to be out of the trash pickup business. It’s nothing but a headache. I respect what you are saying, and I understand your frustration.”

“If you don’t have a choice, it’s not freedom; it’s socialism,” Hubbard said. “It’s not fair to make people pay whether their trash gets picked up or not. I know that life’s unfair. That’s why I have all this gray hair.”

Hubbard said she felt that she wouldn’t be going away happy after she spoke at the meeting. “I won’t be,” she said.

In other action, Fredonia Council Member Chris Frickert spoke to the council. He said that the Alabama Bicentennial Commission had recently sent a congratulatory letter to the town council commending Fredonia on having had a community barbecue every year since 1950. The 68th one will be taking place this April.

“The Community Clubhouse will be 100 years old next year. We are having some issues with it in keeping it in good shape. There’s some renovation work we need to do.”

County Extension Director Ken McMillan talked to the Commission about renewing a stream restoration grant for Moore’s Creek, which runs through Lanett and Valley on the way to the Chattahoochee River. The creek is listed on the Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s list of impaired waters for low dissolved oxygen and sedimentation.

Phase One took place last spring and summer on the portion of the stream that flows between South 8th Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway in Lanett. Just under $530,000 was awarded to the project with partners contributing almost $350,000 in matching funds.

This work needed to be done due to storm water erosion threatening infrastructure, roads, parking lots, sewer lines and overhead utilities.

Stream restoration efforts stabilized the area through the installation of in-stream structures, floodplain benches and native vegetation.

The in-stream structures reduce erosive flows while redirecting water flow to the center of the channel. The structures also serve to improve water quality by reintroducing oxygen into the stream. The floodplain benches relieve stress on roadways and utilities in flood conditions. Deep networks of native vegetation root systems further stabilize the area by holding soil in place and promoting infiltration.

McMillan asked the commission to support Phase Two of the project. If approved, just over $300,000 would be awarded with just over $200,000 needed for the matching portion.

The matching portion can come in the form of in-kind labor and volunteer help.

Commissioner Debbie Wood said she would like to see this continued along Moore’s Creek in the Langdale community.

“We have a lot of flooding in the area,” she said. “Something needs to be done there. It’s a historic district with some rock bridges.”

McMillan said that it takes two years to complete these projects and that it’s important for the local community to be engaged with what’s going on.

“We will be doing some Alabama Water Watch sessions at area schools,” he said.

A motion was made for Commission Chairman Williams to draft a letter in support of this. It was quickly seconded and approved unanimously. Williams said he would see that it gets done as soon as possible.

County Attorney Skip McCoy said that the LaFayette City Council had approved a resolution calling for a vote for Sunday alcohol sales in the city limits and police jurisdiction. Valley and Lanett already have this. With the county and LaFayette in support of this, a request will be made for the local legislative delegation sponsors legislation to have it approved on the state level.

“We would like to have it on the ballot in the June election,” McCoy said.