Residents gripe at Opp council

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Opp City Council on Monday fielded complaints from a few residents about various issues from loud music and mufflers to dogs to utilities issues.

Resident David Markham said he addressed the previous council last year or the year before.

“I’m a northerner,” he said. “I complained about dogs running loose.”

Markham said he was 77 years old. He complained about the town’s dog catcher and said he was “a waste.”

Markham said that he called him at 7 a.m., and dog catcher didn’t come until 11 a.m.

“I’ll sign a complaint,” he said. “There’s an ordinance that a dog has to be on a leash or be restricted.”

Markham’s second complaint was about loud music.

He said there was a pickup that came near his home going “boom, boom, boom.”

Markham said the lots are at least 130 feet deep.

“You can feel the vibration in the ground,” he said. “You can hear it a block away from my house. Anybody here who hasn’t heard it?”

Council member Skip Spurlin told Markham they would work on rectifying the dogs on the loose situation and that they are working to alleviate the loud noise.

Markham also complained about the utilities department wanting a $130 deposit for a new property after he had electricity for three years.

Markham said he didn’t want to give out his Social Security number.

He said his current residence is in his girlfriend’s name because he didn’t want to provide his Social Security number.

Mayor Becky Bracke said the dog issue will be addressed.

“A lot of times the dogs are gone when they come to catch them,” she said.

Markham said that he had personally watched Assistant Chief Kevin Chance and another officer chase a dog and the dog catcher just stand there.

Spurlin invited Markham to the next utilities board meeting, which is March 21 at 4:30 p.m.

NAACP President Aaron Bogan asked the council if they could help get the utilities board to give more than one extension on the utilities bill.

“It’s kind of rough on a lady with children,” he said. “It might take two checks to make the bill. If you could make it two or three times a year, that would be great. People asked me to come and talk to you. Sometimes it’s hard on them with school and Christmas.”

The council invited Bogan to attend the utilities board meeting as well.

Then, the council heard from Mack Whatley about the increase in water and sewer rates.

Whatley said he thought that to help poor people the rate increase should go on the usage end, not the front end.

“Common sense is that the more you use, the more you pay,” he said. “I don’t have a problem paying extra when I water my garden.”

The council also told Whatley to attend the utilities board meeting.