In this first in-person meeting back in town hall, all five Council members were present, and Mayor Bobbie White expressed having missed everyone and she was glad to be back.
After a brief and silent review, the Council approved the minutes of their last meeting as well as invoices to be paid.
While reviewing Police Chief Terry Nichols’s written report, Councilman Tom Owings asked if there had been complaints of dogs running in packs, as he had witnessed a few recently himself. Nichols confirmed they have gone after the pack in question, but said they’ve been unable to capture the dogs yet because they run away.
Mayor White asked Brent Street Superintendent John Donner to speak to the Council regarding several pieces of equipment in need of repair or replacement. First on the list was the International Pac Mac truck.
“Since I got here in 2006, it’s been in the shop a lot,” Donner said. The truck is an International with an eight-cylinder diesel engine, which “no one wants.” It is currently at the dealership for service, and the shop wants $2,500 just to inspect the oil pump, which they believe likely needs replacing. Dealership offered $6,500 to purchase the truck with knuckle boom loader and bed. There is also a proposal from the dealership for the city to purchase a new truck to replace it for $137,000. The new model International has a six-cylinder Cummins engine and Allison transmission.
Council member Tom Owings and others expressed concerns over the reliability of the potential new purchase. Donner explained that a new engine for the existing truck would be around $50,000. If they changed the engine type (away from the unreliable eight-cylinder), the transmission would also have to be changed, adding more to the cost. Comparatively speaking it would be a better bet to get new truck, Donner added.
The next item for discussion was the city’s Kubota lawnmower with a four foot deck, which is about 10 years old, and according to Donner has needed two new transmissions on the mower deck at a cost of $1,200 each, and it is about to go out again. Donner suggested they sell the Kubota (which he said would serve a homeowner fine, but cannot stand up to the daily use by the City) and buy Scag. Currently, they are using a Bush Hog with a 55 inch deck that can’t fit as well in many places, so they’re having to weed-eat more. The Council requested a price for new lawnmower to replace the Kubota.
Also of concern was the Senior Center Van, which is having mechanical issues. Apparently the transmission is under recall, but Ford dealerships in Tuscaloosa and Clanton “wanted no part of it” when called for service per the recall letter from Ford. The recommendation of Council Member Tracy Sanders was to call Ford directly about the uncooperative dealerships and request assistance in having the recall repair fulfilled. The Council is also considering selling the van.
Tapper Road off of Circlewood Drive maintains a constant need of repair, according to Donner, who was also asked to give his opinion on what to do regarding it. “The downhill part is downhill,” he emphasized. According to Mr. Donner, the hill not only basically requires a 4×4 to climb, but the road sits over clay, causing pavement to shift and break under the heavy weight of garbage trucks and school buses.
Donner said he hates it for the people who live out there, but his recommendation for the most economical and easiest fix is to use a Dozier to take the pavement off and put down rock and red clay, turning it back to a dirt and gravel road that can be graded as needed without having to deal with frequently repaving.
Mayor White agreed with Donner’s proposal and requested a price to remove the pavement and retro-fit the road into dirt and gravel.
Announcements and Other
July 7th is the qualifying deadline to run for office in Brent. Fees for candidates to get voters list was voted to remain at $10 for council candidates and $25 for mayoral candidates because the mayoral list covers all 5 district.
Brent is hosting a Farm to Families USDA program on June 9, from 8:00-10:00 a.m. This is a government grant program that enables the City to give out food, which they will do on a first-come-first-serve basis next Tuesday. Fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses will be in a box, for the first 500 cars. It is open to all Bibb County residents, with no qualification, no questions asked. Everyone will file through in their vehicles. A box will be handed though the window.
Mayor White will host the West Alabama Mayors Association at Brent Baptist Church on June 18th at 11:30 a.m. White said she hopes ALDOT will come to speak about grants available through rebuild Alabama.
The Brent Senior Center will not be re-opening yet, with schedule to be determined.