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Measures to block wind farm voted down

The Cleburne County Commission Monday voted unanimously to allow the county administrator to negotiate with the current garbage contractor for a new three-year contract.

The county’s garbage service contract with Advanced Disposal is up for renewal or rebidding as of Oct. 31. At their June meeting, the commissioners approved rebidding the contract. They had heard lots of complaints from residents about broken garbage cans and missed pick-ups, they said.

But on July 7, County Administrator Steve Swafford said the company had presented the county with a counter offer lowering the price of service from $14.35 per household to $13.10. That doesn’t include the fuel surcharge, which right now is 6 percent, he said.

After surveying other counties about their garbage service, Swafford told the commissioners the complaints seem to be widespread regardless of the company doing the job.

“We really didn’t see anything that stood out to be significantly better,” Swafford said. “What we do feel like we have is we have a good price.”

The resolution passed by the commissioners would allow Swafford to ask the company to address issues residents have complained about including phone accessibility for customers, missed pick-ups and problems with garbage can delivery. The resolution also gave Swafford the authority to rebid the service if an agreement couldn’t be reached.

In other business the commissioners:

— Voted down four proposals dealing with a proposed wind turbine project on Turkey Heaven Mountain. The first resolution asked that the commissioners promise not to close or re-route Cleburne County Road 852 which is the main road up the mountain. The second asked that the commissioners withdraw support for wind turbines and contact local legislators and the governor to notify them. The third asked the commissioners contact Gov. Robert Bentley to request a statewide one-year moratorium on the construction of wind turbines. The last asked that they promise not to use eminent domain or condemnation of private property to benefit the development of wind power. The first three were defeated 1-3 with Langley voting yes and Commissioners Bobby Brooks, Laura Cobb and Emmett Owen voting no. The fourth died in a 2-3 vote with Langley and Cobb voting yes and Brooks and Owen voting no. Commission Chairman Ryan Robertson broke the tie with a no-vote.

— Approved 3-1 closing County Road 111 to tractor-trailer trucks. According to the resolution, the traffic from the vehicles, with their heavier loads, is damaging the road. Trucks that have business on the road will still be able to use it.

— Declared July 30 as Gracie’s Gastroschisis Day in Cleburne County in honor of Gracelynn Lyla Kilgore, a county resident, who has the rare disorder. The disorder is characterized by a defect in the abdominal wall, according to webmd.com

— Recognized Debby Mathews, Cleburne County Extension coordinator, for 30 years of service to the community in her professional and volunteer work.

— Postponed a vote on the new policy and procedures manual until August.

— Approved requiring commission approval to rehire open positions in the county workforce allowing commissioners to re-evaluate staffing needs.