Atmore council talks trash

Published 11:19 am Wednesday, June 29, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
Litter bugs better be on their best behavior in the coming weeks.
Their nasty habits are bugging the Atmore City Council and if they're caught dumping within the city limits, they may be squashed.
Mayor Howard Shell addressed the council, department heads and citizens Monday during the council's regular meeting with his concerns on making sure Atmore is clean and inviting to not only residents and passing motorist, but to businesses and residents-to-be.
"We can pick up a street in the morning and by that afternoon, sometimes, it looks like we've not picked it up at all," Shell said. "We only have so many people working with the city that we can designate to cleaning the streets."
Not only does Shell want residents and business owners to take "pride" in their community by keeping it clean, but also believes by doing so the city will have a chance at securing the Alabama Community of Excellence (ACE) Award, which the city recently applied for.
A group of people from throughout the state will visit Atmore and evaluate the quality of life, cleanliness of the city, along with its services and education. The group would then recommend the city be the recipient of the award. Cleanliness is a big factor in the group's process.
"They have a long list of criteria they look at to see what you need to do to get ready for industrial or commercial development or what you can do to improve these items," Shell said. "One of the big things they look at is the cleanliness of the city. We really need to address the litter problem we have in the city."
Shell said if Atmore received the ACE Award it help the city get a "leg up" on commercial and industrial development recruitment as well as making the city "a lot more eligible in the eyes" of the Alabama Developer Office.
Although the city has workers that pick up litter from roadways and from around municipal buildings, Shell said by the time a crew picks up the trash, more has taken its place. He said residents should want to do what they can do to make their hometown look better and be a more appealing community in hopes of having companies choose Atmore to locate, which would encourage more people to move into the area as well.
"When you're out walking, take a bag and pick up litter," Shell said. "For the people that go by the fast food places when they finish their food, they don't need to toss it out the window, they need to find a trash can somewhere to put it rather than putting it on the street. It's just pride in our community and I would like to see it addressed. It would be nice to get some phone calls from different organizations and clubs saying that they're going to address the litter in the City of Atmore, the police jurisdiction and our entire community. That they're going to take greater pride in our community and see what they can do to help clean up our town and make it a better place to live."
Shell would also like to encourage groups and organization throughout the city to help in the cleanup efforts.
"I would like to encourage the different clubs and groups to undertake the task of cleaning this town up," Shell said. "It really doesn't have to be driven by city hall it should be driven by pride in the city and community."
In other business, the council:
– Heard from professional engineer Euel Screws, who explained all the grants the city had been awarded and the processes that would need to be taken to make sure the funds were used properly. The council later approved each grant. The funds from the grants will help rebuild, renovate and/or update both city parks, the municipal airport, the industrial park access road, the old city hall building and a grouping of small projects for disaster repair.
– Announced that the city had applied for a lighting grant for the walking trails at Houston Avery Park.
– Declined another bid to rebuild the SAIL Center, which totaled $626,000.
– Approved the June 13 council meeting minutes.

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