"It's pretty much just establishing methods to control pollution," City Planner Lynn Causey said. "We don't want pollutants getting into our storm sewer."
On Monday the city's council voted to take four steps to fulfill the permitting plan, which is designed to control water pollution and is known as the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. Though the program originates at the national level, it is enforced at the state level by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.
The council on Monday conducted a procedural step toward the enactment of two independent ordinances.
The first ordinance, if passed, would create an enforcement section to the existing ordinance through which the city established a stormwater runoff management program last year. The second ordinance, if passed, would establish rules to regulate the release of pollutants that are released into the storm drainage system.
Both would be enforceable by city officials and violators will be subject to fines, and in some instances, criminal charges, said Stanley Carr, street and sanitation superintendent.
The council also voted to give the mayor the authority to sign an Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Plan and the Stormwater Management Plan.
"We've actually been doing it, we're just changing the process," Jacksonville Mayor Johnny Smith said.
Causey said a secondary reason the city is taking these steps is to earn an independent permit for the national program. For several years the city has been permitted for the program through Calhoun County.
The city decided to work alone last year after it received a violation notification from the ADEM. The violation report, dated Oct. 29, 2013, lists 16 steps the city failed to comply with in regards to the permit.
"It's really not as bad as it sounds," Causey told the council. "We are doing most of it now."
Causey said several of the steps the city took to comply with the permitting process were not reported in an annual document, which had been prepared by Calhoun County officials and sent to ADEM.
In other business the city:
— Conducted a public hearing regarding the petition of Thomas E. Griffin and Gertrude L. Griffin to vacate a 10-foot alley near Goodlett Avenue.
— Voted to allow Mayor Johnny Smith to sign a contract with Alan E. Marion for Cemetery Mapping and Data Services at a cost of $17.50 per hour for 200 hours of service, not to exceed six months.
— Voted to allow Smith to sign a contract with S. J. Patterson Company for Gas Maintenance Cast Iron replacement.
— Approved a resolution to award a contract for gas meter repairs to Neal's Measurement Service for $19,973.39.
— Accepted the resignation of Bill Sparrowhawk from the Metropolitan Planning Organization's Citizens Advisory Committee.
— Acknowledged the retirement of Roger Cheatham Sr., Laborer, Parks and Recreation Department, effective April 1, 2014.
Staff writer Laura Gaddy: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @LGaddy_Star.