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Anniston council may shift money to Greenbrier sidewalk

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Tenth Street sidewalk story

Councilman Jay Jenkins said the area near Tenth Street School (shown in a file photo) doesn’t get much foot traffic because of the nature of traffic on the road there.

The Anniston City Council may cancel a sidewalk project planned near 10th Street Elementary and use the money to help extend sidewalk on Greenbrier Dear Road instead, city officials said Tuesday. 

Council members last year voted to refinance a city bond and use the $1.7 million savings to fund various infrastructure projects around the city, including sidewalk construction on 10th Street and the extension of the Greenbrier-Dear sidewalk near Burger King. 

In Tuesday’s City Council work session at the Anniston City Meeting Center, City Manager Steven Folks said the city needed to put a hold on the 10th Street plan in order to cobble together the roughly $250,000 the city would need to do the Greenbrier sidewalk. 

“We only have enough to do one project,” Folks said. 

Councilman Jay Jenkins, who was the first to propose the $1.7 million in capital projects, said he supported the plan to move the money. He said the area near the school doesn’t get much foot traffic because of the nature of traffic on the road there, while he has seen someone using an electric mobility scooter on Greenbrier Dear because of the lack of a complete sidewalk. 

“In my mind it’s almost a luxury piece,” Jenkins said of the 10th Street sidewalk proposal. 

No council members expressed opposition to the plan, but the council held no vote. Folks said the issue will come to the council for the vote in coming weeks. 

Folks said city staff had a draft proposal for changes to the city’s garbage and leaf collection ordinances, though council members didn’t discuss the proposed changes in the Tuesday work session. 

City officials have long complained that Public Works crews are overwhelmed by the amount of garbage city residents are putting out — a problem that, according to city officials, evolved because the city set few clear policies about what it would collect. 

Folks and council members declined to discuss details of the proposed changes, saying they are still in draft form. Asked if the draft plan includes additional fees for garbage collection, Public Works Director David Arnett said no — though both he and Folks indicated that there’s a plan to actually enforce the ordinance requiring people to buy special tags for appliances they put out for collection.

By city ordinance, the tags should cost $5 for most appliances and $28 for appliances with freon, City Councilwoman Ciara Smith said. The city hasn’t actually issued those tags or collected the fees in years. 

Smith said she wants to see changes that keep both sides — the city and the residents — accountable by setting up clear rules. 

“The problem is that the city doesn’t tell them what to do with garbage, so the public doesn’t know what to do,” Smith said. 

In a brief meeting after the work session, the council voted on a number of items, including:

— Approval of a liquor license for Fat Boys Pizza and Wings at 270 Glade Road. The Council passed the measure 4-0, with Jenkins abstaining. Jenkins said he sat out the vote because he’d done architectural work for the restaurant. 

— Approval by 5-0 vote of the appointment of Terry Smiley, a vice president at Alabama Power, to the Anniston Museum of Natural History’s board of directors. 

— Approval in a 5-0 vote of the appointment of Rodney Fomby, a juvenile detention officer, to the McClellan Development Authority. 

The board also voted 5-0 to declare as surplus a 3.8 acre lot at 0 D Street. Mayor Jack Draper said the declaration will allow the city to move ahead with a plan to sell the lot to the Anniston Housing Authority for use in its plan to rebuild the public housing complex at Barber Terrace. 

Draper said the housing authority will purchase the lot for $10.