Water rate increase planned in Falkville

Clif Knight

Hartselle Enquirer

Falkville Council reached agreement on a pass-through water rate increase for its customers at a work session on Aug. 26.

A resolution to implement a 4 percent across the board adjustment was cleared for consideration at the council’s next meeting on Oct. 3. If approved, customers who use 2,000 gallons or less per month will see their water bill increase by about 65 cents, effective Oct. 4.

The new monthly rate for residential customers would be $1701. A charge of $4.39 would be made for each additional 1,000 gallons.

The town received a 4 per cent increase from West Lawrence and East Morgan Water Authority on Oct. 1. It also purchases water from Hartselle Utilities.

Mayor Ken Winkles said the rate adjustment is needed to offset the increase in the cost of securing water for resale to its customers.

“In the past, we made the mistake of absorbing small rate increases from our suppliers,” said Councilman Jimmie Walker. “Over time, the cost built up and we had to impose a 

larger rate increase on our customers. I think it’s a good management practice to pass on small increases like this one.

The council discussed the placement of speed bumps on 5th avenue and East Main Street after receiving complaints of speeding from residents.

Police Chief Chris Free reported that it would cost about $8,900 to purchase two speed bumps and an engine rating firm would have to be hired to conduct a needs survey.

Councilman Patrick Holmes questioned wisdom of using speed bumps to control speeding. “If we put them up on those two streets, we’ll be getting requests for them on streets all over town.”

The town’s K-9 dog Felix received a strong show of support in a discussion that focused on the cost of maintaining him.

K-9 officer Vaughn Lambert went to bat for Felix when the estimated cost of $12,000 a year to keep him was questioned,

“We’ve had him for five years and he is effective when used to sniff for drugs,” said Lambert. “We get requests for his service from Hartselle Police Department and Morgan County Sheriff’s Department.

The following agenda items were cleared for consideration at the next regular council meeting on Oct. 3:

•Approve the purchase of a 46 horsepower John Deere tractor from Tri-Green of Cullman for $38,418.91 including a $6,000 trade-in for a used tractor

•Amend the business license ordinance to remove a one percent interest charge on license delivery per state law

•Approve the reappointment of Jane Hill as a member of the Library Board

•Authorize police officers Aaron Burgess and Cody Hudgins to attend the AG Law Enforcement Summit in Montgomery on Oct. 17 at no cost

•Authorize $50 for K-9 officer Vaughn Lambert to attend a Master Officer Course, “Creating Fellowship” at UNA on Oct. 18

•Approved $130 each for Mayor Winkles and Jill Walling to attend Lagoon Training Day in Talladega

•Authorized Police Chief Chris Free, Fire Chief Steve Shelton, Assistant Fire Chief Lance Stidham and fireman Mike Butler to attend a 40-hour training session on “Incident Response to Terrorist Bombing” in New Mexico Oct. 23-26 at no cost.

Mayor Winkles reminded residents of the Morgan County Fall Clean-up Oct. 2-12. Free disposal of unwanted household items, including furniture and appliances, will be offered during that time at the Decatur-Morgan County Landfill, District 4 shop at Cotaco and Morgan County Environmental Services in Hartselle.

The schedule follows: Oct. 2-5, District 4 shop, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mon.-Thur., 7 to 11 a.m. on Sat.; Oct. 9-14, Landfill at Trinity, 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri, 7 to 11 a.m. on Sat.; Oct. 9-12, Environmental Services, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mon.-Thur., 7 to 11a.m. on Sat.

Winkles also invited homefolks as well as visitors to attend Falkville Fall Festival on Sat., Oct. 16.

“There’s been more planning and preparation for this year’s event than I can remember,” Winkles said. “It’s going to be a great day.”

A pancake breakfast will kick off the fun-filled event at 7 a.m. and a 5K color run will be featured at South Park at 8 a.m. Activities will include bingo, more than 35 arts and crafts vendors, inflatables for the kids, a petting zoo, tractor show and car show. Entertainment will be provided by Jeff Whitlow, Sweet Tea Trio and Riley Green throughout the day.

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