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Eutaw council tables ordinance

EUTAW-Discussion on whether or not to propose a building ordinance for the city of Eutaw generated concerns over information and money from Councilman Lewis Bostick last night.

The idea for the ordinance was to charge for plumbing, electric and other types of permits for people who were doing this type of work in the city. However the language seemed to be loosely worded in the eyes of the council.

City Attorney Mike Smith said several neighboring cities had similar ordinances.

“Apparently in some of the other municipalities they charge a separate fee,” Smith said. “One of them includes plumbing where they charge per fixture. I compared some of the codes for the city of Tuscaloosa and the city of Northport.”

The process for most cities was to charge a permit fee of $50 for each system within the building. Some also looked at the value of house and

any proposed work and added a $3.50 per $1,000 value of the finished product.

Smith said the city had no such ordinance on record, but could benefit from one.

“Currently, our ordinance does not charge in that fashion for any of those types of work,” Smith said. “This could be a good way to generate a little income for the city.”

One word in the proposed ordinance that caught Councilman Lewis Bostick’s eye was “alterations.” Bostick said using this word without a set amount was asking for trouble.

“The word alterations really concerns me,” Bostick said. “We need to know where that might go. If I am doing some work in my home and I have it done by a licensed contractor that is licensed in the city alterations can be considered some of the things I would have him do.”

Bostick said there simply isn’t enough money in Eutaw to charge citizens of the city extra fees.

“I am opposed to it,” Bostick said. “The economics of our town and the people of our town can’t afford this. For new construction, I have no problem with it, but when we get down to alterations I am not sure. This could even be charged to individuals who do the work themselves.”

The council also discussed the possibility of a set dollar amount, but in the end decided to table the issue.

The building ordinance triggered another concern for Bostick, which was the timeliness of how information was given to council members.

“When I read this Saturday I was astounded,” Bostick said. “The council does not have any input on what is going on in this town because nobody sitting on this council here had any knowledge of this and that is what I object to more than anything.”

Bostick said the language and the manner in which the permit was presented to the council would not allow him to vote in favor of the ordinance.

“We don’t have any input on the way these things are drawn and I totally disagree with it,” Bostick said. “I oppose it and the reason it is opposed is because the council has no input into what goes into the city anymore.”

Eutaw Mayor Raymond Steele said he was not trying to push the issue. Steele said he had given the council all the information they needed and it was within their power to make the ordinance pass or fail.

“If you want to change the ordinance you have the opportunity to do so,” Steele said. “If you don’t want this ordinance you do not have to vote for it. I don’t want anyone to think I am trying to keep them from having input on anything in the city because I am not ding that.”

The further possibility of a building ordinance will be discussed at a future meeting.