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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Financial Advisory Committee (Cont. #5-Final)

(continued from previous post) 5) Public Works (Streets and Sanitation) Lastly, Public Works Director Fiddler presented the projected 2010 needs of the City's largest Department (54 people). Fiddler: "This year's budget was bare bones . . . took it and added things we need to do." Paving 2 dirt roads ($25K). Repairing and building additional wooden steps down to the bay. An additional greenhouse is needed-- "if we want to keep growing as many flowers as we're using now." Fiddler said the City grows 97% of its flowers/plants in plastic pots (takes 5-10 weeks) and its becoming especially problematic in winter time due to overcrowding. More personnel are needed to mow extensive new street medians (Greeno Rd./Section St). Replacements for 2 pickup trucks (from state surplus). Fiddler (chuckling): "You've seen (some of) the trucks we have now." Replace a bush hog machine that's heavily used from March to September or till "whenever it breaks down." Replace an aging tractor that needs frequent repairs. Replace a 25 yr. old "asphalt roller" (used for pothole and utility "cut" repairs). Two "out front" mowers. Member Stan Grubin asked: "Are you understaffed-- or where you want to be." Fiddler: "That depends on what all we want to do . . . got a stack of work orders 1/4" thick I can't get to now . . . my men have been moved off for 3 months to do golf course work . . . happy to do it, don't get me wrong . . . get's me pressed on our normal duties people ask for . . . if we're asked to build Theatre 98 (storage building) it will really be a stretch." Besides the expected theatre project (expected to take 3 months), Fiddler mentioned additional "normal" duties of of maintaining the new parking deck's elevator-- and 3 NRCS projects about to get underway --to repair damage caused by storms earlier this year (bay bulkhead, street erosion, etc.). Fiddler went on to estimate she would like to have 5 additional people to do everything expected-- but that what she really needed most of all right now was a litter collector and seasonal mower. A Committee member then asked if any new sidewalk construction was planned. Fiddler said she had a 3 page request list that's been building up for 5 years or more-- but, "can't do it with the forces I have now . . . only enough (in the budget) to make (sidewalk) repairs." The biggest expenses facing Sanitation are the impending closing of the C & D (construction/debris) landfill; and the need to replace 3 (of the City's 5) automated garbage collection trucks (for $1 million--to be borrowed). Fiddler: "When the C & D closes, we'll have to enforce people separating limbs, leaves and small trash items (rather than just put it in one pile)." Additional new equipment needed: a "leaf sucker truck body"; and a refuse trailer/ semi type truck (to haul the debris to the county landfill). In addition, two trash collecting (boom) trucks (wanted for the past 2 years) and a 1/2 ton pickup (from state surplus)-- to replace one the Mayor wants to give to the Electric Dept. Chairman Zunk noticed the Mayor's budgeted amounts for "tipping fees" (required to be paid to county landfill per load) and fuel-- differed considerably from Fiddler's (lower), and asked for clarification prior to the next meeting. The next meeting was scheduled for Sept. 10th at 3PM--in the Delchamps room at City Hall. The Public is invited to provide input to Committee Members, including: Chuck Zunk, Stan Grubin, John Brown, Lonnie Mixon, Mac McCawley, et al. (The Mayor and all other City Councilmen are ex-officio Committee Members as well.) [The Mayor and Councilman Ford were the only two who did not attend this meeting at all]

8 comments:

Peggt9067 said...

Most people in my neighborhood don't use the twice weekly garbage pick up now but still have to pay for it. Doesn't seem fair.

Anonymous said...

if the city employees did not get a cost of living raise this year like social security then Jennifer could hire her additional people she needs. also merit raises are irrational to say the least.

BillyBob2 said...

They oughta give Fideler what she wants. Weeds are high in our neighborhod. Them old rusty trucks city people drive aroun in are embarssin for the tourist to see.

Anonymous said...

If the trash trucks didn't spend so much useless time running up and down the streets, she might have more people to work. We have as many as three go through our neighborhood, then they all convene to shoot the bull.

Anonymous said...

We should stop just talking about making Fairhope walkable and bikeable and actually start building sidewalks again. Talk is cheap!

Jag Dad said...

Those old trucks are embarrassing. Is it too late for "cash for clunkers."

Anonymous said...

just get prisoners to do all the work

Anonymous said...

City employees got a 4% raise this year! That was too much. Skip this year and it will come out about right, 2% for each year.