By Nathan Prewett, For the Tribune
TRUSSVILLE – The Trussville City Council heard a report about the recent Arbor Day event during a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
Ralph Mitchell spoke on behalf of the Trussville Tree Commission about the event where there was a tree giveaway with the help of donations.
“We were very lucky again this year that we were able to get a donation of trees from Alabama Forestry and a monetary contribution and some trees from Alabama Power,” Mitchell said. “As a result of that, we didn’t spend one cent of city money for the Arbor Day event this year.”
He reported that the city was presented with an acknowledgement from Tree City USA this year for the commission’s efforts. Girl Scout Troop 30679 was present to help plant an Arbor Day Tree near Heritage Hall.
Mitchell spoke of a “Tree Talk” presentation that was held last Thursday where it was suggested that the city begin with a tree care and tree removal service and that the commission would be willing to help with this. Mitchell said that the city also needs to move forward with replanting trees.
“We’ve got to get on with replanting these trees,” he said. “We probably should’ve been replanting trees 20 years ago.”
Additionally, Mitchell reported that during the giveaway on Saturday there were 400 trees to begin with but that he received a call from the power company, which had 5,000 pine trees that they asked to bring to them for the giveaway. These trees were largely seedlings and saplings.
The trees had all been given away before 11:30 a.m., he said.
“It was just super, running out of trees,” he said. “It really was.”
After the consent agenda was passed, several spoke during public comments, the first among them being Arnold Reichert. He had spoken at the Feb. 15 meeting where he addressed a planned restroom project at the historic Mall district, speaking out against it.
At tonight’s meeting, Reichert asked Mayor Buddy Choat where the funds for the project came from.
“Well, we’re paying for it out of our general fund now but the money is coming from some funds from the state of Alabama over a period of three years,” Choat replied.
Afterwards Reichert suggested that the council knew that the project would not be popular with the residents of the district and that no one from the city talked to them before the project was approved.
Later Brian Payne spoke on the same subject and asked if the plans were presented for the Design Review Committee. Choat said that they were presented to the committee and that they were returned with suggestions for several changes. Payne asked if they were approved but Councilman Ben Short said that it was not required of the council to have a vote on it.
Payne also asked if research had been done to ensure that construction would not impact any sinkhole-prone places in the area. Choat said that there had not been.
Another was Michelle Moskal, who asked the council about a piece of land behind her property on Dew Drive. She asked what the plans for it were, to which Choat said that it is intended to be a walking track for a park. Moskal asked that the council consider putting up a fence between it and her property.
During discussion of the regular agenda, the council passed a resolution to authorize a land swap between Trussville and GSI Holdings to enable road construction linking Commerce Lane to Camp Coleman Road. This will be located near the railroad tracks and will provide a way for motorists to get around any train blockages.
The meeting ended with the council going into executive session to discuss potential litigation.
In other business the council:
- Designated Choat as the authorized voting delegate to the Alabama League of Municipalities with Councilwoman Lisa Bright to be first alternate and Councilwoman Jamie Anderson to be second alternate,
- Accepted the resignation of Park and Recreation Board member Chris Cobb,
- Appointed J.T. Murphy to the Board of Zoning Adjustments, replacing interim member Jef Freeman,
- Appointed Josh Wooten to the Downtown Redevelopment Authority with a term to end on Nov. 23, 2028,
- Held a public hearing and then passed a resolution to abate a property on Smith Sims Road,
- Approved a video surveillance and security installation contract with IPointUSA for the city gymnastics center, and
- Approved unpaid leave for a city recreation member in probationary status from June 3 to June 16.
The Trussville City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at City Hall on 131 Main Street.
Nathan Prewett can be reached at email@example.com.