City aggressively addressing WWTP odor problem; several election certificates issued

Amy Hasenbein Leonard

CULLMAN – The Cullman City Council met on Tuesday evening where they issued several election certificates and moved forward to combat the issue raised at the last meeting regarding the odor arising, literally, from the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP).

With all members of the council in attendance along with Mayor Max A. Townson and City Attorney Roy Williams, two requests from WWTP Superintendent Jeff Adams were approved. The first, in the unbudgeted amount of $4,045, will purchase a portable misting fan and injection pump system which can be moved about the plant property to address exceptionally pungent areas. The second request will provide a misting system from Ecolo Odor Technologies, Inc., the company spoke of at the last council meeting, in the amount of $12,903.50. The budget will be amended for both purchases.

Before the requests were discussed, an unnamed resident, who presumably lives near the plant, spoke from her seat regarding “the little tiny flies that are flying around” which her neighbor, Mike Pitts, went on to describe as a yearly issue that requires hours spent vacuuming from the walls of his home.

Adams stated that, with the new plant construction, the plant will be able to pump more water which will flush the fly larva out, helping to control the insect population. Council President Garlan Gudger charged Adams with finding a solution to the fly problem while the residents acknowledged that, with the decrease in odor, they expect a decrease in the insect population.

Other approved requests included three special events permits. First, a permit was granted for Cullman City Parks and Recreation to hold their yearly Midnight Run on Aug. 19, beginning at the Cullman Civic Center. Second, a request from Heather Conn to hold a lemonade stand and activities at Depot Park on July 30 to raise funds for epilepsy research was approved. Lastly, a permit to hold a two-hour event on Aug. 28 in the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce breezeway requested by Rebecca Fuller was granted.

Cullman Police Chief Kenny Culpepper’s request for software maintenance and support in the budgeted amount of $5,107.81 and Street Superintendent Scott Talley’s request for the budgeted amount of $14,990 worth of benches and trash containers for the downtown area were approved.

The council voted to endorse and support the Alabama Bicentennial Commission with the mayor naming Drew Green as head of the local committee.

Certificates of election were presented to Council President Pro Tem Jenny Folsom, Councilmen Andy “Coach” Page, Johnny Cook, Gudger and Cullman City School Board Place 4 Member Jason Neal, who was not present.

Townson and Councilman Clint Hollingsworth face opposition in the upcoming Aug. 23 municipal election, with former council members Woody Jacobs and Wayne Walker vying for the positions of mayor and council place 4, respectively.

School Board Place 1 will see Joey Orr and Mary Hovater in the race and Place 2 will feature Kevin Binkowski, Chris Branham and Susan Martin Hauk. Steven Sides and Lee Powell will face off in Place 3, and lastly, the Place 5 election will have Suzanne Fuller Harbin against Julie Fillinger.

Normally held on the second and fourth Monday of each month, the council rescheduled the Aug. 22 meeting to Monday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at City Hall. The public is welcome to attend.