Garden City sets delinquent bill procedure, adopts flood damage prevention ordinance

Town of Garden City

GARDEN CITY, Ala. – The Garden City Town Council Monday night set new parameters for the payment of water and sewage bills. The bills are due the 10th of each month. Before, a late fee was assessed if payment was not received by the due date, no matter the day on which the 10th fell. Now, if the 10th falls on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday when Garden City Town Hall is closed, residents will have until the following Tuesday morning to pay the bill without a late fee.

The council adopted a flood damage prevention ordinance “to promote the public health, safety and general welfare and to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions in specific areas by provisions designed to: 

(1) require that uses vulnerable to floods, including facilities which serve such uses, be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction; 

(2) restrict or prohibit uses which are dangerous to health, safety and property due to water or erosion hazards, or which increase flood heights, velocities, or erosion; 

(3) control filling, grading, dredging and other development which may increase flood damage or erosion;

(4) prevent or regulate the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert flood waters or which may increase flood hazards to other lands; and 

(5) control the alteration of natural floodplains, stream channels, and natural protective barriers which are involved in the accommodation of flood waters.”

The goals of the ordinance are the protection of life and health, but include minimizing the economic impact of flood events, lessening the need for emergency response in flood events and making potential property buyers aware of the condition of property.

Mayor Tim Eskew explained to the council, “Adopting it means we know where the floodplains are.”

The council voted to appoint local residents Mary and Kenneth Swann, Eddie Reid and Teresa Goodwin as poll workers for the Aug. 25, 2020 Municipal Election, setting the pay for the poll inspector at $90 and the pay for register list clerk, poll list clerk and ballot clerk at $85 for the day. Mary Swann was appointed poll inspector. The remaining roles have not yet been decided.

The council voted to purchase two 2019 Big Dog zero-turn mowers from TriGreen Equipment out of Florence for $8,000. The mowers will be delivered and have seven-year warranties. Eskew told the council the Town can quickly remake the $8,000 from the surplus of equipment and a vehicle the Town no longer uses.

Councilman Scott Arnold said the annual Freedom Celebration hosted by local churches has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, saying, “It breaks my heart, but we’re not doing the Freedom Celebration this year.”

The council voted to spend $1,200 ($400 a person) to send three Garden City Volunteer Fire Department members to an EMT course hosted by the Vinemont-Providence Volunteer Fire Department.

Eskew also reported to the council that Garden City has seen an impressive 2020 Census response, but urged continued emphasis. In the last census, Eskew said, Garden City had a 19% response rate; the current response rate is 48.1%.

The Garden City Town Council meets the third Monday of each month. The next scheduled meeting is July 20 at 6 p.m.

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