Commission merges landfill, recycling and environmental enforcement into one department
by Brian Anderson
Feb 13, 2014 | 4048 views |  0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print
David Pirritano, head of the Calhoun County Environmental Division, at the recycling station's paper goods area.
David Pirritano, head of the Calhoun County Environmental Division, at the recycling station's paper goods area.
The Calhoun County Commission on Thursday consolidated three departments into a new environmental division, a move officials say will increase efficiency.

Environmental enforcement, recycling and the county landfill will now all fall under the umbrella of the environmental division, which will be overseen by David Pirritano. The commission appointed Pirritano, formerly the county’s environmental enforcement officer, to the newly created environmental programs manager position on a one-year contract. Pirritano will be compensated $2,219 bi-weekly for the job.

Pirritano said a recent fine levied against the county by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management related to the county’s handling of a stormwater runoff system played a small role in the consolidation, but the merger had been discussed before the state’s sanction was handed down.

In September, ADEM fined the county $14,500 for failure to provide and update reports on its storm-water drainage system. Mark Welsh, the county’s landfill manager, who also oversees the storm runoff system, said at the time the deadlines for documentation were missed because of an oversight.

“It’s just about getting everything organized and having one person that you bring everything to,” Pirritano said. “It’s been something we’ve had in the works for awhile.”

As part of the consolidation, the county appointed Theodore Smart as Pirritano’s replacement as environmental enforcement officer, also on a one-year contract. Barbara Hardcastle was appointed to the environmental programs clerk position and Danny Lakins, pending finalization of his contract, will become the manager of the county’s recycling center.

The status of Thursday’s meeting had been in doubt due to the expected snowfall in the county on Wednesday, but it went ahead as scheduled. At the meeting, Commissioner J.D. Hess thanked County Engineer Brian Rosenbalm and the county’s Highway Department crews for working through the week and for their preparedness despite an underwhelming storm hitting the county.

“That’s the hardest part, waiting,” Rosenbalm said about the long hours put in this week.

In other business, the commission:

• Ratified an emergency declaration resolution from the county’s Emergency Management Agency regarding the winter storm on Jan. 28. The retroactive ratification allows the county to collect any state or federal funds related to storm damage.

• Passed a resolution changing several polling places in the county related to a shift in commission district lines. Polling places at the Piedmont National Guard Armory and Piedmont Community Building are closed, and voters will now vote at the Piedmont Fire Station or Recreation Building.

Moore Avenue Church of Christ in Anniston will also close as a polling location, and voters instead will use the Anniston City Meeting Center. A new polling place will open at the County Highway Department, which will accommodate voters from the former polling place at Covenant Presbyterian Church. Registered voters will receive written notifications in the mail if their polling places have changed.

• Accepted three right-of-way deeds to replace a bridge on Ranch Road, one of the county’s state-approved projects under the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program.

• Approved an alcohol license for on-premise consumption at Wiseguy’s Pizzaria and Bar on U.S. 431 in Alexandria.

• Approved a $500 contract with United Daughters of the Confederacy to pay for military awards and honors for Calhoun County veterans.

• Approved a $2,000 contract with Pleasant Valley Recreational Sports Association for equipment for youth sports leagues.

• Approved nuisance demolition bids from EMC Excavation on six properties for a total of $6,785, and for Westbrook Grading on one property for $760.

• Passed abatement resolutions on 2936 Grayton Road in Ohatchee, 1016 Alexandria Road in Weaver, and 434 Starla Drive, 416 East 54th St. and 1115 West 53rd St. in Anniston

• Declared public nuisances properties at 173 Wildman Road, 1151 Jamback Road, 305 Smith St. and 807 North Ledbetter Road in Anniston, and 1323 Clairmont Drive in Weaver.

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

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