TUSCUMBIA — City leaders are taking a second look at a proposed ordinance that limits the types of curbside materials the city would pick up.
Officials are searching for a solution that would prevent residents from putting all types of debris alongside their front yard's curb or street.
A committee put together a proposal that describes what would be picked up and levies a minimum charge of $113.78 if the Street Department has to pick up other items.
Since then, City Council members have received feedback, including comments from the public at last week's meeting expressing concern about the plan.
One of the most-discussed issues is a portion of the proposal that limits the diameter of limbs to 3 inches.
Mayor Bill Shoemaker said he and committee members have since discussed the issue and likely will increase the maximum diameter.
"We agree it's ridiculous to limit it to 3 inches," Shoemaker said. "Most people here have limbs larger than that. If we can pick up limbs that are 6 inches or less, I think that'll satisfy most of the people."
Shoemaker also recommends cutting limbs from hardwoods into fireplace length and stacking them alongside the curb for the public. He said he recently did that at his home and the wood was gone within 24 hours.
"People are looking for firewood," he said. "They can come pick it up and everybody wins."
Public Works Superintendent Bo Stanley said the Street Department picks up limbs and brush, but some residents and private contractors place all kinds of items alongside the curb.
The ordinance is designed to ease the Street Department's load, thus allowing workers to quickly go through routes. That would mean department trucks would stop at residences more often.
Presently, the Street Department comes by a residence about every four to six weeks, Stanley said. He said the goal is for them to do so every week.
Stanley said some residents are "scrappers" who buy items for parts and dump the rest. Some projects are done by contractors, and Stanley said residents should make it clear before hiring a contractor that workers will haul away debris left over from their project.
Aspects of the proposal include requiring brush and limbs be cut to 8 feet long or less and requiring brush and grass clippings to be bagged. In addition, leaves must be placed within 6 feet of the curb or pavement, but not in the pavement or gutter.
Other items would be subject to charges under the proposal. They include paint or other liquids, hazardous items, limbs exceeding the size limits and materials scattered and not placed properly in piles.
Other items that could result in charges would include furniture, mattresses, appliances, lumber, building, construction, roofing or plumbing materials, bricks, concrete, blocks and material Stanley deems inappropriate for disposal in a brush truck.
City officials still are discussing other complaints they have heard about the proposal. Residents have said it is too restrictive and that the $113.78 fine is too high.
Tuscumbia officials came up with that charge based on what the Federal Emergency Management Agency reimburses governments that pick up debris from storms that are designated as federal emergencies.
Bernie Delinski can be reached at 256-740-5739 or bernie.delinski@TimesDaily.com.