HEFLIN — The Heflin City Council unanimously approved an amendment to its clean yard ordinance which will hold commercial tree trimmers responsible for disposal of their trimmings and debris.

Heflin Mayor Rudy Rooks said the ordinance will make the street department’s work more efficient.

“It puts a little more teeth into the ordinance because of companies that come from the outside — especially tree trimmers companies that come from the outside — do their tree trimming and drag their limbs to the road for the city to pick up which is really not our responsibility,” Rooks said.

“If a resident wants to cut his own trees, drag his limbs up there by all means we’ll provide that city service,” Rooks said.

Rooks said that if a commercial company contacts City Hall “we’ll have a place for them to dispose of those limbs.”

The amendment also requires tree trimming companies to remove their debris within 48 hours or face revocation of their business licenses and be fined for littering on public rights of way. The same ordinance also prohibits tree trimming companies from blocking public streets with debris.

The amended ordinance will also apply to companies hired for the purpose of constructing, demolishing, repairing buildings or structures and their subsequent debris.

Another section of the ordinance’s amendments applies to homeowners, who now must bag all grass clippings before the city will pick them up.

Projects performed by the landowner resulting in unwanted material which occupies an area greater than 10 feet by 10 feet and 3 feet deep are responsible for disposal of that material. If the city cleans it up the landowner will be charged a $30 fee. If landowner fails to pay for service, a lien shall be placed the land for the expenses of removing unwanted debris, manpower hours and use of equipment.

According to the ordinance amendment, city crews will not pick up the following:

— Automobiles

— Boats

— Trailers

— Car batteries

— Paint cans

— Crossties

— Creosote-treated wood

— Roofing shingles

— Individual items over 200 pounds

— Stumps and solid trees

— Rocks and dirt

— Hazardous materials

— Petroleum-based products

Rooks announced upcoming meetings and the Christmas Parade of Lights which will be Dec. 8 at 6 p.m.

“We’ll have a council float that we’ll be riding on, hopefully throwing out candy,” Rooks said.

​Staff writer Bill Wilson: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @bwilson_star.

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