By Lee Weyhrich, For The Tribune
ARGO – As the current Argo City Council enters into its last weeks before the new council comes in, one thing they are not doing is letting things fall behind. Not only has the council continued to work on ongoing projects, but it is still working on new projects and including incoming council members on every step so that the transition can be as smooth as possible.
The council has been working on several road projects, new and old.
The council voted to enter into a contract with McCartney construction for $132,349.69 to patch and repave Bill Smith Road and Tom L. Smith Road.
The council is also still dealing with an old road project that continues to be a burden. The council voted not to accept full responsibility for damage on Hickory Valley Road. They will only take responsibility for the new construction and any damage moving forward, but not any previous damage caused by an outside source.
Several years ago a property owner built a lake up against Hickory Valley Road. A drainage pipe ran beneath the road but it was only rated for 3,000 pounds. The weight of the additional water was roughly 8,500 pounds, Mayor Paul Jennings said. The weight blew out the line and caused a major sinkhole.
In theory, the property owner should have been responsible for the damage, but that person is long gone and the local government has been left with the expense. Originally an agent for one of the insurance companies for the city said that her company would pay. That agent left and both of the insurance companies involved have since been denying that it is their responsibility to pay. As a result, the city has invested thousands into the project out-of-pocket. The mayor is not sure exactly how much.
The mayor categorized the road acceptance agreement as “not acceptable as written” and the council voted to send the road acceptance agreement back so that it could be reworded.
In other road news, there was a water leak on Crestview Way this week caused by a blown out water line. Trussville Utilities has been working on that and the road itself has not been damaged.
Last week the council held a special called meeting to discuss applying for a grant to build an emergency storm shelter. At that meeting a special committee was created to help get the project started before the October 14 deadline.
The Storm Shelter Committee has decided on two possible spots for the proposed Federal Emergency Management Agency emergency storm shelter. The first choice is near the fire tower at the bottom of the hill at City Hall. The second choice is next to the city garage where old military vehicles are currently sitting.
Between this project and the ongoing municipal project, the Council has been working on a little cleanup. The municipal project is to mitigate water runoff on the city property, as well as create a second entrance to City Hall. To this end the council has written a letter to serve as final notice for the removal of property. The letter, addressed to a Mr. Evans, is in regards to some surplus insulated aluminum panels that the Council had previously listed as surplus and sold to him. The panels have been sitting in that exact spot since March with multiple pleas for their owner to come and get them, Mayor Paul Jennings said.
The council voted Monday to send the letter letting the owner of the panels know that if they were not picked up soon they would be taken to the local dump.
The annual Argo Fall Cleanup will take place October 22-29.
Fire Chief Mike Platts is looking for dedicated residents who want to serve the community. According to Platts, there is a real shortage of volunteer firefighters. He is asking for any interested individuals to apply at the fire department at City Hall.
City Attorney Hugh Holiday has tendered his resignation. Hugh helped the city gain its charter in 1987 and has been Argo’s city attorney ever since.
The Christmas parade has been scheduled for December 10 at 10 a.m.