County hires firm to help avoid storm water fines
by Brian Anderson
banderson@annistonstar.com
Jan 09, 2014 | 2871 views |  0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Water flows through a drainage ditch beside Eulaton Pike in Wellborn. (Photo by Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star)
Water flows through a drainage ditch beside Eulaton Pike in Wellborn. (Photo by Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star)
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The Calhoun County Commission on Thursday agreed to outside help in managing its storm water drainage system after being fined by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

At its regular meeting, the commission approved a proposed budget from CDG Engineers and Associates of Albertville to oversee the county’s storm water management program. The contract comes several months after the county was fined more than $14,000 from the Department of Environmental Management for not filing reports about the system on time.

The contract includes a payment of $12,200 to the firm for 2014 to prepare the storm water management plan annual report, revised plan, and implementation schedule, as well as time and material costs.

Under federal law, urban areas must maintain separate storm sewer systems for water that is discharged into state rivers, lakes or streams.

Mark Welsh, Calhoun County’s landfill manager, who also oversees the water management system, said the county will still manage the system, but the engineering firm will work to make sure the county meets filing deadlines with the department and to avoid more fines.

“We’re working with them,” Welsh said. “We don’t want to be on ADEM’s bad side.”

In September, Scott Hughes, a spokesman with the Department of Environmental Management, told The Star that Calhoun County had received at least three notices of violation related to its storm sewer system in a three-year period, prompting the fine. Welsh said the violations all dealt with paperwork issues, and said the county’s water system is operating fine and still working with outreach programs to educate the public about storm runoff, as required by the Federal Clean Water Act.

The cities of Anniston and Oxford have had similar problems relating to their storm water management systems and have had faced fines of $13,000 and $14,000, respectively, from the department in recent months.

In other business, the commission:

--Renewed participation in the Association of County Commissions of Alabama Liability Self-Insurance Fund for 2015 through 2017. The early signing grants the county a longevity bonus of $77,138.

--Awarded a contract to D and A Lawn Care for lawn maintenance of several county buildings at a cost of $590 per month. The contract is for 12 months.

--Approved a contract with the American Red Cross Calhoun County Chapter for $4,900 to buy equipment and supplies. The contract was already factored into the commission’s budget for the year.

--Approved a contract with the Northeast Alabama Business Incubator System for $9,800 for advertising and development. The contract was already part of the commission’s budget.

--Approved a contract with The ARC of Calhoun and Cleburne Counties for $2,500 for services provided to adults and children with developmental disabilities. Karen Davis, the organization’s executive director, presented the commission with a painting made in one of the adult art classes offered by ARC, entitled “Moon and Stars.”

--Approved a contract with Jacksonville State University for $5,000 for advertising.

--Renewed an alcohol license application for Express Mart 30 in Choccolocco to sell beer and wine for off-premise consumption.

--Dismissed nuisance abatements at 203 Rice St., 7886 Alabama 9 and 427 Russell Ave. in Anniston.

--Declared nuisance abatements at 564 Kingway Drive, 210 Jamback Road, 800 North Hunter St. and 1418 Willett St. in Anniston and 2936 Grayton Road in Ohatchee.

Staff Writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.

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