HEFLIN — The unincorporated areas of Cleburne County and the municipalities of Ranburne, Edwardsville and Fruithurst will start getting household garbage pickup from a different company this fall.

The Cleburne County Commission in a called meeting Monday night unanimously awarded the contract for residential garbage service to Advanced Disposal, which had the lowest bid of $56.55 per quarter.

A representative from Advanced Disposal, Gentry Shows, said residents will get new garbage carts delivered in October with instructions and the pick-up service will start on November 1. Shows said the bills will be mailed out in the middle of October.

“We are happy to be awarded the bid, look forward to doing business with the folks in Cleburne County,” he said.

After the called meeting was over the commission held an emergency meeting to consider a proposal from County Administrator Steve Swafford to move the county’s money to establish a 12-month certificate of deposit. The amount to be moved was $1.18 million dollars including $520,00 from an existing certificate of deposit and $660,000 from the Cleburne County reserve fund. Swafford shopped around several banks and chose BBVA Compass bank which offered an APR of 1.25 percent for the certificate of deposit.

Commissioner Terry Hendrix questioned the proposal and thought it would be better to keep the existing certificate of deposit the county currently has. Commissioner Emmett Owen said it would have been nice had the commission known that Swafford was shopping for another certificate of deposit.

Swafford explained the reasoning behind his action as commissioners posed numerous questions.

“Everything I’ve put in place you just want to throw out the window?” Swafford asked. “We have the cusp of an agreement, it’s already in place and agreed to.”

The bank had asked Swafford to obtain a resolution from the county because of the lack of clarity that has evolved over the last few months in the commission.

Hendrix was steadfast in his opposition. He was pleased that Swafford had found a good rate but was not happy with the way he’d gone about it.

“You’re making a decision I think the commission should make, you should not be able to move $1.1 million around without telling us,” Hendrix said.

Swafford told the commissioners that large amounts of money are moved around monthly.

“I can’t negotiate in good faith when I don’t have any support that we are going to do the right thing and move forward,” Swafford said.

The vote was finally taken and it died 2-1. Both Owen and Hendrix voted against it and Commissioner Jake Durham voted for it. Commissioner Laura Cobb was not at the meeting. After the measure failed, Swafford collected his papers and left the room. When asked about his reaction to the vote in the hallway Swafford said, “I’m stunned.”

After the emergency meeting was adjourned a work session began with the Mayor of Ranburne, Jim Smith, making a request for help with developing a piece of city-owned property.

Smith told the commission that the town plans to develop the property on Alabama 46 with a gym, football field and two baseball fields. He said he needs help with making a 500-foot gravel road and the accompanying survey that needs to be done. Smith hopes to get the road put in before September’s Highway 46 yard sale, which will generate money for the Ranburne Recreation Department.

The total amount he was requesting from the commission for the gravel and the survey is $10,000. The grading of the road and a drainage ditch will be done by the Town of Ranburne.

“If we can find some money I’d love to give him some money,” Hendrix said.

“I think this would be a great project for our town and it will be utilized by more people  outside of the city limits than it will be on the inside of the city limits,” Smith said.

County Commission Chairman Ryan Robertson told Hendrix to study the proposal for a week and bring it up next Monday during the regular commission meeting.


Staff writer and photographer Bill Wilson: 256-235-3544. On Twitter: @BWilson_Star