By ARTHUR L. MACK
MOBILE — Mobile City Council members passed an amendment to the city code for the removal of inoperable motor vehicles as public nuisances during their regular meeting on Tuesday.
Under the current ordinance, the city will have the authority to remove inoperable vehicles from private property. The owner will be given 30 days from the date the notice is received to move the vehicle from said property or cause the vehicle to be stored in an enclosed building completely shielded from view of individuals on the adjoining properties.
The amendment allows owners of said vehicles to come before the city council before the 30-day time period expires in order to appeal the notice.
“Basically, it changed the order of how the ordinance works,” said councilman John Williams. “It changed the order of when people come to us. They can come to us before the cars are taken within the first 30 days. It gives time for them to appeal the notice.”
Meanwhile, Mark Bass, a member of International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1410, addressed the council, advocating for better pay and benefits for the city’s public service workers. He said while other city workers such as police officers and firefighters were getting pay raises and bonuses, public service workers were not.
“Today, I come as an advocate for fair play for all workers of the city of Mobile,” he said. “I’m dismayed that the workers who are responsible for the upkeep of this city are being excluded from this revival. As a member of one of the most powerful commerce organizations in the country, I pledge allegiance to public works employees to receive benefits and fair pay.”
Bass asked councilmembers to adopt a resolution to find a way to get public service workers better pay. Otherwise, he would get the community involved.
“If a resolution cannot be passed, I’ll be calling for community action to bring attention to this matter,” he said.
In other business, councilmembers authorized Mayor Sandy Stimpson to apply, accept and receive funding from the Department of Homeland Security’s fiscal year 2017 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) in the amount of $2,143,836. Of that, $1,322,033 will be in grant funds and the local match will be $821,803. Under the grant the city will be allowed to hire 12 additional firefighters.
“It will supplement their salaries over a three-year period,” said Public Safety Director James Barber. “We’ll take over the salaries in the fourth year. It goes from supplementing the salaries at 75 percent in the first year, to 50 percent in the second year, and then to like 35 percent in the third year. In the fourth year, we take over the salaries.
Barber said the application process will take about 2-3 months and then the city will be notified as to if the application is approved.