Joe P. Asher
Cumberland City Council dealt with a number of issues during a meeting on Tuesday. The content of the minutes from previous meetings led to a discussion of inaccuracies in the record.
Council member David Dixon noted there were discrepancies in the minutes.
“I went back and compared these minutes,” said Dixon. “Last meeting we asked for these minutes to be in more clarity than what we received last month. That would be the ones for Sept. 11, Sept. 13 and Oct. 4. From looking at it, there’s been things that have been removed, but there’s not been anything added.”
Mayor Carl Hatfield asked the council “what’s wrong with it now?”
“They’re not accurate,” answered council member Charles Raleigh. “If we don’t have them accurate it goes on the record as that’s exactly how it was. We’ve got to have the corrections before we pass these minutes.”
After some discussion, the council opted to move on without approving the minutes.
“Just lay the minutes to the side, and we’ll go on,” said Hatfield.
The council addressed a problem with blockage at the sewer plant.
“Has the sewage blockage been corrected?” asked Dixon.
“Yes it’s been corrected, but it’s something that can’t continue,” said Hatfield. “We’re going to have to take more stringent action to prevent towels that will not dissolve in our sewer system.”
“We’re also going to have to put the safety screens back in,” noted Raleigh. “Someone took the safety screens out and they’re laying down there at the sewer plant. That’s going to allow the towels to pass right through to the propellers if you don’t put the safety screens back in.”
“What was happening — this is what came around on the grapevine — what was happening was those screens were stopping up,” said Raleigh. “Rather than run down there every few minutes and unstop them they took them out. So now all that bypasses and goes straight to the propellers and wraps around them. If you put the screens back in, it’s going to stop those big objects before they get to the propellers.”
“The basket is in there,” replied Hatfield. “The basket has not been taken out. Go down and look, okay? Someone might have told you it had been taken out, but the basket is in there. The towels will go down into the basket and fill up the basket. Then the force of the water will shove all the other towels over the basket into the bottom of the lift station and it gets into the sewage system.”
Gilliam asked what kind of towels were causing the problem.
“It’s body wipes,” said Hatfield. “Those things are supposed to be put in controlled containers and shipped out. It’s medical waste is what it is.”
“It’s just something that we’re going to have to get straightened out. We have to have contractors come in and suck out the lift stations that get filled up with blockage,” said Hatfield.
A council member noted that this could be an issue with the Environmental Protection Agency.
“We’ve notified the EPA,” said Hatfield. “And they say the towels have to be in the proper containers to be disposed of.”
The council noted that it was possible it was not employees of the nursing home responsible for the waste going into the sewer.
“You’ve got to remember this is our nursing home,” said Raleigh.
Maintenance Supervisor Frank Ross updated the council on the state of much of the city’s inventory.
“The city has now got a complete inventory of city owned properties at the police department, city hall, water and sewer (plants) and maintenance building,” said Ross. “The maintenance warehouse has been cleaned and space added by building a loft which allowed over 192 square feet of storage space for all parts and materials from the water and sewer plant. They’re now all being monitored, inventoried, and kept under lock and key.”
Ross said that work orders are now required to obtain any of the property housed in the facility. All city vehicles have been placed on an in house maintenance schedule and safety procedures are being observed by all employees.
Ross noted that the city’s salt spreader has been repaired and a new garbage packer recently purchased by the city has been put into full service.
Council member Yvonne Gilliam requested that the council receive reports on maintenance of city equipment.
“Will we be getting a monthly report on maintenance, especially the packer?,” asked Gilliam. “I would like to see that because we’ve seen in the past that it’s not been done and it’s taken a toll on the cost.”
Ross stated he would “have no problem bringing in a report on that.”
When asked about employees working overtime, Ross responded that at the current time there is no overtime being worked.
“I have actually probably cut enough hours to justify my own wages,” said Ross.
In other activity council:
* Approved a proclamation naming Nov. 25 “Win the War Against Violence” day;
* Passed a resolution declaring a black Chevrolet Colorado truck surplus property;
* Passed a resolution authorizing the mayor to complete loan documents relating to the purchase of a new garbage truck.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or email@example.com