Archived Story

Council considers fish cleaning station

Published 11:46am Wednesday, April 3, 2013

City council members heard from David Hare and Tallapoosa County Commissioner Frank Tapley at their regular meeting Monday to discuss a “fishy” situation.

Hare, who owns Alex City Guide Service and takes fishers from all over the country onto Lake Martin to fish, said the area near the city’s boat ramp has no available space to clean fish that are caught.

“I’ve been scolded down at the boat ramp (because) the best place to clean these fish is at that pavilion on the picnic tables where the restrooms are,” Hare said. “Now when I leave it’s cleaner than when I first get there … I wash off everything, but you still have the remains of the fish to dispose of. The only place to put them is in the little roll-away trash cans … and when it heats up and you pull in the parking lot, of course the first thing you smell is those fish.”

Hare said he has worked with Tapley to come up with a plan for the area, which includes adding a pavilion, stainless steel cleaning tables, an overhead shower to wash fish remains off the tables, a grinder to dispose of the unwanted parts of fish and a wooden board promoting the city, Lake Martin and local businesses so fishers can use it as a background to take photos with their fish.

“You’d be shocked at how many pictures are taken at these boat ramps, and nobody even knows if they’re on Lake Martin or if they’re up in Virginia,” Hare said.

Tapley said he is willing to contribute discretionary funds to the project, and Mayor Charles Shaw gave City Engineer Gerard Brewer permission to begin working on an analysis of costs, permits and work required to install and maintain a fish cleaning station in that area.

“We talk about jobs and tourism, and it takes a lot of things (to make those flourish),” said Council President Bob Howard. “It seems natural to me (for us to do this), so I’d like to see us explore it.”

The council also:

- unanimously approved to exempt back-to-school items from the municipal sales and use tax during annual state sales tax holiday, which is held the first full weekend in August each year. This ordinance waives the tax every year indefinitely, with the ordinance going into effect July 1, 2013.

ν authorized Shaw to submit an application to the Alabama Communities of Excellence Selection Committee to try to earn Alexander City the designation of Alabama Community of Excellence.

- voted to partner with the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce for the week-long event called SunFest and gave $25,000 to help fund it

- amended the capital budget by $3,600 to partner with the chamber of commerce to provide a mobile app for the city.

- declared an emergency for repairs at Springhill Force Main Line so around 750 feet of pipe can be replaced

- approved the Autism Society of Alabama to have a Walk for Autism April 20

- agreed to move the second council meeting in May to Tuesday, May 21, at 5 p.m. since council members will be at a conference on Monday, May 20.

Shaw also read two proclamations: one proclaiming April as Autism Awareness Month and the other proclaiming April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.