Heflin’s most recent bill from its garbage collection contractor was $6,000 higher than expected, the city clerk told the City Council Tuesday.

City Clerk Shane Smith said Allied Waste Republic Services overcharged the city because a recent audit by the company counted each trash receptacle along its routes instead of each paying customer.

Smith said there are 1,226 residential customers in the city but the contractor’s total, using total trash cans was 1,680. According to Smith the contract — signed in 2001 — stipulates that every residential customer gets curbside service with an unlimited number of trash cans or bags once a week. Smith said he contacted the contractor and would be discussing the trash dispute today.

Smith also updated the council with a midyear city budget update.

“We’re on target of where we should be at this time,” Smith said.

Smith said he hopes the city’s revenue will start to trend up a little more.

“It’s always good to trend up in revenue and down in expenses,” Smith said.

Heflin police Chief A.J. Benefield reported the women’s firearms class will be at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Heflin Fire Department. Benefield said men also can participate in the class, which teaches the use and safety of firearms. The class will include classroom instruction and a visit to a firing range.

Benefield reported for the month of March the following police activity:

— 960 business checks

— 54 incident reports

— Five crash reports

— 29 cases closed by arrest

— 18 traffic citations

— 94 traffic warnings

— One presentation

Benefield and the council talked about the pre-employment agreement a police officer may have to sign for employment.  If the officer leaves within two years he/she will have to reimburse the city the cost of uniforms, equipment and training, if the measure authorizing such an agreement passes the council. The city attorney and council are working on the resolution which may be ready to vote on by the next meeting.

Heflin fire Chief Jonathan Adams told the council the fire department responded to 23 total calls for the month of March, including:

— One structure fire

— One vehicle fire

— Two woods fire

— Eight motor vehicle collisions

— Nine tree and powerlines down

— Two service calls

Adams said that six Heflin firefighters are taking training classes. The first five classes are in Calhoun County and the remainder are done online.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the council unanimously passed a consent agenda that included:

— Purchase of a lawnmower to be shared by the Parks and Recreation Department and the Street Department. The money will come out of the capital improvement fund.

— $10,000 from the city’s fire fund for turnout gear, including firefighting jackets, helmets and boots.

Smith gave a first reading of an ordinance that will make Vickery a one-way street in downtown Heflin. The council will vote on the measure at the next meeting, which will be on April 24 at 5:30 p.m.

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