Good Hope talks proactive plan for future of sewer system

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Living Water Services President Grady Parsons addresses the Good Hope City Council Monday night. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. – The city’s sewer system was the main topic at the Good Hope City Council meeting Monday night. Living Water Services President Grady Parsons addressed the council with a proposal to conduct a study to monitor and evaluate the system.

Parsons said recent infiltration and inflow (I & I) reports show dramatic increases in the amount of water coming through the system, reporting, “This year we’ve seen the highest flow ever recorded out at the waste water plant. On February 11, we had 798,000 gallons in a day. Our permit is for 225,000 gallons a day, but our February average was 378,000, but if you can make your water quality so good you can stay in compliance.”

The city has remained in compliance, but the proposed study would create a long-term proactive maintenance plan.

Parsons added, “We don’t want to be reactive.”

He said the system has experienced four sanitary overflows this year, the most ever. Each has been reported, as required by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM).

Information gleaned from the proposed study could help identify problem areas, guiding scheduled maintenance plans, he said. Having a plan of action on record and in place could bolster the city’s case and possibly help it avoid fines should it ever be found not in compliance.

Parsons explained, “The report is also laying the groundwork to help get grant applications in.” He said working plan would increase the city’s chances of securing low-interest loans, grant monies or debt forgiveness type loans for planned repairs. 

Mayor Jerry Bartlett added, “It’s a fact of life that you are going to have to put some money into your sewer. It could cost us in the next five years- we could spend another $1.5 million on our sewer.”

The cost of the study is estimated to be between $23,500 to $26,000 for needed flow meters and an additional $8,500 for the review and recommendations. 

The council said it will discuss the proposal further and possibly vote on the resolution at the next meeting in two weeks. 

Other business 

Crosswalks will be repainted around the city to hopefully make pedestrian crossings more visible. Several incidents have been reported of pedestrians being in peril as motorists failed to yield at marked crosswalks. 

The city has agreed to extend a contract with AT&T for the next 9-10 years. The city will continue to receive quarterly payments of 5 percent for services to residents in Good Hope. This is the standard rate and state law mandates that the percentage can be no more than 5 percent.

The city hopes to soon upgrade the sign at the entrance to the park and city hall. Residents could soon see LED upgrades to the existing Good Hope sign and the addition of a digital message board. Similar to the sign at Tankersley Chiropractic, the sign will be able to show up-to-date messages including road and school closings, weather advisories, events and other community information. The council will vote on the possible addition in two weeks. 

The annual food drive is taking place this week to help keep the city’s food pantry stocked. Schools are collecting food items. To help challenge students, the class from each school with the most food donated will receive a pizza party. 

Finally, opening day for this year’s T-ball, softball and baseball season is scheduled for April 6. Bartlett invites everyone to come out. The opening ceremony will include a parade of teams, flag ceremony, the singing of the national anthem and the ceremonial first pitch. 

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