Valley embraces 2021 international codes for a safer city

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, June 14, 2023

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VALLEY — On Monday, the Valley City Council held second readings and approved three ordinances adopting updated versions of international codes for building, property maintenance and residential areas. This makes the city up to date with what is widely accepted in these codes.

The 2021 International Building Codes provides the foundation for a complete family of international codes. They are widely seen as essential tools in preserving public health and safety by providing safeguards from hazards associated with the built environment.

Having such codes is not something new. Most Alabama cities adopted international codes some time ago and are now updating these codes.

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In other action on Monday, the council unanimously approved a 21-item consent agenda. Nineteen of the items imposed weed liens on vacant properties. The other two items involved the disposal of surplus property and the approval of a budget amendment. The surplus items include a 2008 Kawasaki Prairie 360 four wheeler and a 2012 black Chevy Tahoe K15. The city could take bids on these items.

Weed liens are imposed when the city’s Public Works Department cleans up properties whose owners are not keeping them up. The cost of doing this is imposed on that property as a lien. This has to be  Mayor Leonard Riley announced that a public hearing will be taking place prior to the next council meeting on Monday, June 26th to consider rezoning approximately 8.4 acres of land near Cusseta and Huguley roads.

Valley Parks & Recreation Director Laurie Blount told the council that Valley Community Center will soon be hosting some swim meets and that the annual July 4th fireworks show will be taking place in the same location it has taken place in recent years. Blount said that Valley’s 9 and 10-year-old boys all-star team has advanced to the state tournament, which will be held in Headland, Alabama. She said the 7 and 8-year-old girls team and a good showing in the district meet near Birmingham but did not advance to state.

Mayor Riley asked her about the tournament hosted this past weekend at Valley Sportsplex. Blount said it had been a big one with 32 teams taking part. There were some delays because of rain but all of them were played.

Public Works Director Patrick Bolt told the council that he had met with representatives of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) to discuss disposing of a pile of used tires in the city. He said there’s an estimated 125 tractor trailer tires in the pile and that it will cost $9 per tire to get it cleaned up. “We have no idea who put the tires there,” Bolt said.

The tractor tire pile is located on private property on a side road off 55th Street. It’s behind a gate with a lock that has been changed in recent years. “We had to take the hinges off to get in,” he said.

If ADEM says the tire pile has to be disposed of according to state environmental rules, it has to be done whether it’s on private property or public land.

Police Chief Mike Reynolds said that applications are now being taken for this year’s Junior Police Academy. It’s for youngsters who will be in kindergarten this fall and all ages up to the sixth grade. It will be taking place at the Community Center under the direction of Lt. Sandra Crim. “She always does a great job,” Chief Reynolds said.

Council Member Jim Clark thanked Patrick Bolt and the men in his department for some work that was recently done to remove magnolia leaves from the trees along Double Drive in Shawmut. “People have been calling me to tell me it looks so much better and that they appreciate it,” he said.

Council Member Jim Jones thanked Bolt for the work that’s been going on along Boulevard in Fairfax, where some new sidewalks are going in. “It’s really looking good,” he said. “Keep up the good work.”

Mayor Riley said the city had a list of 34 streets to be paved this summer.