Oxford officials to attend stormwater management workshop
by Eddie Burkhalter
Dec 10, 2013 | 3718 views |  0 comments | 97 97 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OXFORD — Facing a $14,500 state fine for stormwater management, Oxford officials said Tuesday they plan to attend an upcoming workshop to learn better ways to manage rain runoff.

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management in November recommended the city pay a $14,500 fine for failing to submit a detailed stormwater management plan as required.

Christy Claes, coordinator for the Choccolocco Creek Watershed Alliance, spoke to the council in a work session prior to Tuesday’s meeting about a two-day workshop Jan. 16-17. She said the session is meant to teach local officials about stormwater management and other ways to help protect the watershed.

“Oxford is kind of the center of the entire watershed … it’s right along Choccolocco Creek. It’s got a huge population, and it’s growing,” Claes told council members.

Councilwoman Charlotte Hubbard said she plans to attend the workshop as a representative of the council and she will speak to city water department officials about attending, too.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, several residents said they’re concerned about the placement of an entrance into a FedEx facility being developed on Fish Hatchery Road in Eastaboga.

Eastaboga resident Heath Ray told the council he and other local residents welcome the facility, but explained they worry the road the entrance is planned for is too narrow for the tractor-trailer trucks that will use it regularly.

“We travel that road every day, school traffic, elderly traffic, and it is in a bad spot,” Ray said

Councilman Mike Henderson said city officials are aware of the problem and are working with the developers and other local officials on the matter. Henderson said they are discussing moving the entrance to another portion of the property.

Mayor Leon Smith said he agrees that the road is too small for tractor-trailer trucks.

“I’ve been able to talk to them a little bit in the last week… I think the owners of the property want to do the right thing as well,” Smith said.

In other business, the council:

— Tabled a motion to approve a bid for replacement of irrigation water heads at the city-owned Cider Ridge golf course. Pelham-based Jerry Pate Turf and Irrigation submitted a bid of $67,455 for the project.

Another company, Keeling Company in Tuscaloosa, submitted a lower bid of $58,540, but the company’s product does not meet the required specifications, Robinson said.

“We’re replacing the irrigation heads in the tees and fairways,” said Chad Robinson, golf course superintendent at Cider Ridge.

The old irrigation heads aren’t working as required, Robinson said, and while there was plenty of rain this year, the irrigation system is vital to keeping the grass in good shape.

Right now, the timers on the sprinklers can malfunction, he said, and instead of running for 10 minutes, they might run for eight hours.

Robinson said that if approved, the irrigation work will reduce energy costs and water usage at the course.

City attorney Bruce Rice said he would like to look closer at the matter before the council votes to approve the bid.

— Changed the date of the next regular meeting from Tuesday, Dec. 24, to Monday, Dec. 23, at 6:30 p.m.

— Rezoned property located at 216 Patrick Street from Planned Development Commercial to Residential.

— Rezoned property located at 5746 Highway 78 from General Business to Residential.

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.

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