Brownfields workshop Nov. 12
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Atmore City Council members authorized the city’s engineering firm to apply for state road and street funds, approved the municipal observation of Veterans Day and learned of a workshop designed to explain the mitigation of several sites on which hazardous materials have seeped into the ground.
The first order of business for the council during the Monday, October 28, meeting was passage of a resolution authorizing Civil Southeast to apply to the Alabama Department of Transportation for funds from the annual Rebuild Alabama Act.
The council voted unanimously in favor of the resolution after Mayor Jim Staff pointed out that the program is similar to the ALDOT-administered, federally funded Alabama Transportation and Rehabilitation Improvement Program.
“It’s kind of like the ATRIP program that we had,” he explained.
Staff then announced that the city’s annual Veterans Day observance will be held on Tuesday, November 12, immediately following that day’s city council meeting. The program is expected to start around 4:30 p.m. in the council chambers.
The mayor explained that closing of city offices for the holiday prompted the moving of the date; City Clerk Becca Smith explained that the program can’t take place in Atmore City Hall’s auditorium, since voting in the special school tax extension referendum will be done there that day.
The mayor then announced the upcoming Brownfields workshop, explaining that the meeting would be primarily for revealing the location of property where diesel and other substances have permeated the ground and for announcing whether their cleanup might be covered under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program.
“Anybody that has a business or anything they suspect would be an (Alabama Department of Environmental Management) project, spilled diesel and things like that, they can bring it up,” he said. “We’ve got several lots, properties in Atmore that they have found. This is just a workshop to explain exactly what can be covered under Brownfields.”
He said some such local sites have already been cleaned up, at EPA’s cost.
“They’ve already identified several,” he said. “I think they did that about two years ago, and I think they’ve added one or two to it since then. At the last workshop they said they got all Phase I done for all our industrial sites. And it didn’t cost the city a dime.”
Before adjournment, District 4’s Susan Smith noted that Mayor Pro Tem Webb Nall was retiring from his job of 52 years at the local Pepsi Cola Bottling Company. Nall, who said his tenure there “didn’t seem that long,” received a standing ovation from his council peers and the dozen or so people who attended the meeting.