By Lee Weyhrich
PINSON — The first meeting of the year for Pinson City Council was a stormy one, but only in the sense that the recent flooding in the city was the main topic of discussion.
During the Christmas holiday the city received higher floodwaters than it has experienced since 2001, according to historical data, Councilman Joe Cochran said. Cochran, Mayor Hoyt Sanders, Councilman Robbie Roberts and other city officials went out into the storm Christmas night to assist residents in any way they could and block off streets. Center Point Fire Department and the City of Clay also sent help to Pinson for those trapped in flood waters.
“It was really a group effort when you look at the Sheriff’s Department, Center Point and Clay helping us out because they didn’t have nearly the issues there that we had here,” Cochran said.
Cochrane also wanted to thank an unknown group of young men with four-wheel-drive pickups who volunteered to ferry people from the high school parking lot into the Innsbrooke neighborhood after water had gotten too high for normal vehicles to pass.
“These were young guys, 19 or 20 year old kids, just working out in their community, so I was very proud to see the spirit that was out at Christmas,” Cochrane said.
Due to a large amount of sediment that washed into Dry Creek during the storm, Cochran also made a motion to authorize the removal of that sediment around Main Street. The cost of sediment and debris removal is estimated at $10,000.
The Creek bed had been inspected as recently as late November when it was still considered relatively clean, Cochrane added.
The flooding even affected the new Bicentennial park, washing out walking trails, felling trees, and knocking off limbs that councilman John Churchwell said were big enough to be trees themselves. Churchwell made a motion for the council to authorize removal of this debris at an estimated cost of $2,500.
Several homes were damaged by floodwaters throughout Pinson as well. Councilwoman Joy McCain noted that owners of several flooded homes had put their wet furniture out on the road to be removed. Call-A-Haul will be dispatched to pick up these items. The council asks that anyone in need of this service, or anyone who sees a need for this service in their area contact City Hall.
While the bulk of the meeting concerned flooding, that was not the only business discussed.
Parks Director Mike Sullivan briefly discussed field maintenance and upkeep, and spoke about several possible routes the city could take.
In other business, the council voted unanimously to do a weed abatement at Kaley Lane, and a recently annexed property on Osage lane was switched from county zoning to the Pinson equivalent.