City of Valley exploring trash removal options

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, June 18, 2022

VALLEY — The garbage service being provided by private contractor Amwaste has been drawing multiple complaints throughout the local area. The City of Valley is looking at other options before awarding its solid waste contract for next year.

Planning & Development Director Travis Carter discussed this at Monday’s city council meeting.

“We are still getting tons of complaints on the job being done by Amwaste,” he said. “We have been contacting people who could bid on this. They have the trucks to do it, but the roll-out carts could be a problem.”

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The cities of Valley, Lanett and West Point, along with Chambers County, have gotten many complaints about the service being provided by Amwaste. These complaints include being inconsistent on pick-up times, damaging their cart or leaving it in the street. Company officials say the problem involves getting people to do the job and having them properly trained.

Getting the right people to do a job is a problem all over right now.

The meeting began with a public hearing to set the costs of abating five nuisance properties in the city. Code enforcement officer Reid Riley reviewed each property and explained what had to be done to get the lot cleared of an abandoned house and overgrown bushes and weeds. Property at 2207 52nd Street cost the city $5,750 to clean up, the site at 117 Gibson Street $6,250 to clean up, 501 21st Avenue $5,750, 110 Denna Drive $5,050, 123 Denna Drive $6,250 and 7 Lower Street $6,530.

These costs include hiring a contractor to do the work and the legal costs.

The city can impose a lien on each site to get its money back.

The city imposed weed liens on nine properties that have been cleaned up. These properties are located on Fob James Drive, Highway 29, Boulevard, 19th Avenue, Mapp Road, 21st Avenue, 23rd Boulevard, 52nd Street and 31st Street. These costs were much lower than the cost of hiring a contractor to remove an abandoned structure.

The council also determined public nuisances and authorized action to clean up properties located at 1227 and 1194 Myhand Street and at 2107 42nd Street.

A second reading was held and an ordinance was approved to annex some property off Shawmut Circle into the city. The property was formerly in an industrial park. The property is now owned by Evelyn Trenter, and a new home is on the site.

Approval was given following first readings of two other ordinances. One of the ordinances involves the sale of a city-owned lot on California Road in River View. The city accepted the offer of Richard Earl Baker to purchase the site for $1,000.

A third ordinance that was approved makes some minor changes in the city’s animal control ordinance. Livestock is now restricted to areas in the city that have the FAR (Agriculture) zoning designation. Another change involves the way “tethering” of an animal is defined.

Council Member Jim Jones said he was pleased for the city’s new street sweeper to come down streets in his neighborhood. It has taken some time for this new piece of equipment to arrive in the city.

Valley Parks & Recreation Director Laurie Blount told the council she was excited about the participation in this year’s swimming program in the Community Center pool.

“We have 54 kids on our swim team this year,” she said. “That’s a lot more than we have had in recent years. They will soon be participating in swim meets.”

It has been a good year for hosting tournaments at Valley Sportsplex. It’s a boost for the local economy when teams come here from out-of-town to spend the weekend. These visitors stay in local hotels, eat in local restaurants and shop in local stores.

“We were crazy busy last weekend with an Eastern Showcase fast-pitch softball tournament,” Blount said.

Valley’s seven and eight-year-old team had an impressive run to the state tournament. In district play they outscored opponents by a combined margin of 50 runs to 11. They have advanced to the state tournament in Tuscaloosa.

Blount said that she and her staff were bracing for a very busy weekend on July 9 and 10.

“We will be hosting a district swim meet in our pool and an ARPA softball meet at the Sportsplex,” she said. “We will also have a wedding at the Community Center.”

Mayor Leonard Riley said he was pleased with this past weekend’s Valley Arts Council Memorial Art Show.

“Lots of people came out to see it,” he said. “Everything went really well.”

Public Works Director Patrick Bolt thanked officers with the Valley Police Department on having done good work in teaching a defensive driving safety class to the men of his department.

“Three of our guys will be going for training next week,” he said.

Council Member Jim Clark thanked Public Works for moving large limbs that had fallen on 29th Boulevard in recent days. The limbs came down in recent storms. Some of them resulted in property damage.

Mayor Riley urged local residents to vote yes in extending a six-mill tax that benefits local schools and the highway department.

“It’s not a new tax,” he said. “It’s the renewal of a tax we have been paying for the past 20 years.”