City seeks guidance on law’s impact

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The City of Troy will seek legal advice on how to comply with Alabama’s immigration law.

The council on Tuesday voted to retain the law firm of Bradley Arrant Boult and Cummings LLP to provide guidance on what the city needs to do to be incompliance with the Beason-Hammon Act.

“There have been a lot of unintended consequences placed on municipalities and I hope there will be tremendous clarifications when the Legislature meets in February,” Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said. In the meantime, “we will have an attorney clarify which requirements we must implement this year.”

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Lunsford said there was “a great deal of concern expressed” at a recent League of Municipalities meeting regarding the implementation of the law.

“All of us present could see it would be an extremely unpopular as well as an extremely unpopular measure to fully implement … We will do our dead-level best to implement the law as we move forward.”

The law requires that municipalities have proof of U.S. Citizenship for anyone to whom they provide a service or benefits. “If you interpret it strictly, that means if you go to check out a book at the library, you would have to show proof of citizenship,” Lunsford said.

One of the first areas to be impacted will be business licenses.

“We need some direction,” said City Clerk Alton Starling. “We’ll be sending out business license renewals in December and we need to know what we need to require.”

Starling said under the law, businesses or corporations which receive a benefit from the city – such as a tax incentive or utilities – will be required to prove that all employees have complied with citizenship requirements. “And it’s different for a corporation and a sole proprietorship,” he said. “It’s all over the place, and we need some direction.”

In other business, the council on Tuesday:

• Approved a three-year contract agreement with Waste Management. The company provides disposal services for the city at its Walnut Creek site, where grease and grit are disposed. The city will pay $250 per month, providing a savings of $1,000 per year over the current contract.

• Awarded bids for three utility department vehicles. Ken Cox Ford was the low bidder with the 3 percent local preference on the 1-ton pickup truck at $44,549.26 and on the two half-ton trucks at $22,892.88 each.

• Authorized the annual holiday payroll for city employees. Full-time employees will receive 10 percent of one month’s salary. Permanent part-time employees will receive $50.

• Approved the contract agreement with Goodwyn Mills and Cawood to provide consulting services on the municipal airport improvement plan.

• Declared a structure at 329 Orion St. dilapidated so it could be removed by the city. Costs for removing the house destroyed by a recent fire will be assessed to the landowners.

• Had the first reading of an ordinance to amend the collection policies and cut-off procedures for the Utilities Department.

• Appointed several members to boards including: Board of Adjustments and Appeals, William Wright, John Henderson and Al Jones (supernumerary), Dec. 10, 2011-2014; Industrial Development Board, Jack Norton, Clarence Scott, Bert Brown and Marsha Gaylard, Dec. 10, 2011-14; Downtown Redevelopment Authority, David Contract Jr., Nov. 12, 2011-16; Library Board, Susan Murphree, Oct. 8, 2011-15; Troy Public Education Building Authority, Jim Rolin, November 2011-17.

•Heard an update from the mayor on work to develop a storm water management ordinance for the city. “We had our first extended meeting on this today,” he said. “This is not going to be a process we are going to take lightly.”

• Reviewed revised plans for a new public works building to be located on the existing recycling center property.