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Cliff Williams / Tallapoosa Publishers Tallassee town attorney John Smith addresses the town council prior to a special called meeting Thursday.

A brand new 2021 Chevrolet 1500 Silverado Z71 will be auctioned off by the City of Tallassee.

The truck was delivered to the city in the last couple of months and a normal tag, not a blue municipal or public utility tag, was installed on it. It has sat parked at city hall.

“We met with (city utilities employee) James Gardner,” councilmember Sara Hill said at last week’s council meeting. “He stated there is no need for the (light duty pickup). He stated they needed a utility truck.”

Truck

Cliff Williams / The Tribune A 2021 truck was surplused by the Tallassee City Council. City officials had a normal tag installed on it despite utility funds used to purchase it.

The council voted to surplus the vehicle making it eligible for auction. Councilmembers said the vehicle was purchased from utility funds and the funds from the sale should be returned to the utilities department and held until an appropriate vehicle can be purchased.

Since the vehicle was purchased using funds from city utilities, the black truck currently has an improper tag according to Alabama Code 40-12-250.

“Motor vehicles owned and used by the state, a county or a municipality of this state shall not be subject to the payment of license taxes levied, but shall display permanent license plates,” the law states. “...State license plates shall have the letter “S” and the registration number printed thereon, county license plates shall have the word “county” and the registration numbers, and municipal license plates shall have the word “municipal” and the registration number printed thereon. License plates on any vehicle owned by a municipal corporation or a municipal board shall have “PUD”, public utility department and the registration number printed thereon.”

The law also states the operator of a municipal vehicle without a proper “blue” tag is guilty of a misdemeanor.

A review of city council minutes does not show authorization of the purchase of a truck.

No time line for the truck being listed for sale or the purchase of an appropriate work vehicle for utilities was discussed.

Public comments

Ashurst Bar Road resident Larry Holman said he had a complaint about GFL garbage trucks hauling refuse down the road destroying it on the shortest route to GFL’s landfill in Tallapoosa County.

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Cliff Williams / The Tribune Potholes riddle Ashurst Bar Road. This stretch of the road is not in the city limits of Tallassee.

“There is commercial traffic using a residential street to haul their garbage from out of town down to GFL,” Holman said. “Ashurst Bar Road is getting in pretty bad shape. Even the city portion, the edges are getting dilapidated. The pavement is broke up and the city is filling it in quite often.”

Holman said portions of the road are very bad needing much work to repair not only the pavement but the base underneath. Holman said he would like to see the trucks follow the route presented years ago when the landfill first opened.

“It’s a residential street; it is not a commercial street,” Holman said. “Let’s see if we can’t get the traffic to use [Highway] 14 to [Highway] 49 or some other method to haul the refuse.

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Cliff Williams / The Tribune A City of Tallassee Street Department crew patches a spot of road at the intersection of South Tallassee Drive and Ashurst Bar Road Tuesday.

Holman said city trucks also use the route on the way to the landfill too. Holman said he understands the trucks need to travel the road when picking up residents garbage but not the 15 to 20 trucks per day going to the landfill. Holman said he would like to see restrictions put in place limiting the daily traffic with signs installed and police enforcement.

Mayor John Hammock said he would instruct city employees to use a different route to get to the landfill and would talk to the police department about the speeding claims Holman made.

During public comment the council also accepted and thanked Richard and Ruby Collier for a $5,000 donation to the Tallassee Fire Department to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE). The father and son previously made a similar donation to the Tallassee Police Department.

The council also heard from Elmore County commissioner Mack Daugherty, who told the council that Tallassee City Schools receive some of the county’s collection of the simplified sellers use tax, more commonly called SSUT or online sales tax. Daugherty said the commission elected to share 25 percent of what was collected with the Elmore County Board of Education and the Tallassee Board of Education. Tallassee’s portion is 10 percent of the portion shared with education. The share mirrors the ratio of students from Elmore County in the Tallassee system and the county system.

“It was $36,000 this past year and we anticipate it going up,” Daughtery said.

Hammock thanked Daugherty and the county commission for sharing a portion of the county’s American Rescue Plan’s funds with the city to sandblast and paint the downtown water tank. The county passed along $400,000 to go towards the $534,000 project that is underway.

During the work session prior to the meeting city public information officer and grant writer Griffin Pritchard made a presentation of grants the city had received, applied for or was looking into. When Pritchard said he was speaking with officials at the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission, Hammock questioned why as the city was already engaged with the Central Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission.

Pritchard said he was interested because the other commission might have ideas for grants the current commission didn’t.

Hammock also asked many other questions before councilmember Bill Hall asked Pritchard who he reported to. Pritchard said the mayor.

During councilmember remarks, Hill announced a meeting of the finance committee of the Tallassee City Council was scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8.

The council voted to go into an executive session. There was no action when the council returned to its regular meeting.

In other action the Tallassee City Council also:

• Approved minutes of the Oct. 12 regular meeting and work session

• Approved a hazard mitigation plan presented by Tallapoosa County Emergency Management Association director Jason Moran for the Tallapoosa County portion of Tallassee

• Surplused a piano in council chambers that goes back to when city hall was a school

• Mayor Hammock told the council building inspections have slowed since the departure of city building inspector Andy Coker.

“We have them stacking up because we don’t have anybody in that position right now,” Hammock said.

Hammock said the city has hired certified electricians to inspect a few jobs but needs to hire electricians and plumbers to keep some projects moving along until another building inspector can be hired.

The next meeting of the Tallassee City Council is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9.