Commercial truck ordinance approved
At Monday’s meeting, the Russellville City Council approved a commercial truck ordinance that regulates commercial truck traffic within the city limits of Russellville.
According to councilman David Palmer, he and city attorney Danny McDowell have been working on the ordinance for months in an attempt to make the city’s roadways safer and more efficient.
“There was nothing on the books to regulate this kind of traffic in the city of Russellville so we wanted to create an ordinance that is fair to the businesses and the folks that do business in and around the city while creating a good relationship between those people and the citizens who live here,” Palmer said.
“We want our residents to feel safe in their subdivisions and neighborhoods that are zoned as residential areas, and many of them don’t feel that way with large trucks constantly driving by their homes.
“We also have to consider that some of these city roads weren’t meant to have large trucks driving on them and it could cause issues for the city in the future.”
The ordinance, which passed by a unanimous vote, will regulate commercial truck traffic in residential areas zoned R-1, R-2, R-3 and MH-1. No business, industrial or agricultural zones will be affected.
“We looked at many ordinances over the state of Alabama for references when creating this ordinance,” city attorney Danny McDowell said.
“It basically says that, with the exception of certain designated truck routes in the city limits, there will be no thru-traffic from commercial trucks on city streets.”
The designated truck routes that will be exempt from the ordinance include:
• Walnut Gate Road from U.S. 43 to Alabama 243
• Lawrence Street East from U.S. 43 to Alabama 24
• Franklin 48 from the city limit line to U.S. 43
• Courtland Road NE from U.S. 43 to Norton Avenue North
• Madison Street from Norton Avenue North to Lauderdale Street NW
• Waterloo Road from Lauderdale Street NW to the city limit line
• Old Water Plant Road from the city limit line to Walnut Gate Road
• LaGrange Road East from U.S. 43 to city limit line
McDowell said other exceptions to the ordinance include: a delivery being made to a residence or business in the city; trucks that are delivering supplies to someone building or remodeling a new home; truck drivers who are driving to and from their own homes; and motorhomes for personal use.
It also listed emergency, military and government vehicles as being exempt.
“If the street department needs to go somewhere to do work in one of their large trucks with a loader on it, they will still be able to do that,” McDowell said.
“This just keeps trucks from indiscriminately riding on the streets of Russellville, which weren’t built for that kind of a heavy load anyway.”
The ordinance includes a variance where a commercial truck company or driver can apply for a permit to operate a restricted vehicle where prohibited if they come before the city council to make the request and it is approved.
There is also a provision where the street to be used will be assessed before and after the commercial truck use and the truck company could be responsible for any damages noted.
The ordinance states that anyone in violation of this ordinance would receive a fine of up to $500.
“The intent of this ordinance is not to inhibit or stifle economic development,” Palmer said.
“Our lifeblood is our industries that are here now and that will be here in the future. But they need to be somewhat socially responsible, and we think this ordinance will protect their interests and the interests of the citizens of Russellville.”
In other business, the city council addressed the following issues:
• Approved the culvert extension on Underwood Road and authorized the lump sum payment of $25,750.
• Approved the resurfacing and stripping of Dillard Hollow Road from Lawrence Street to Limestone Street NW not to exceed $25,000.
• Ratified the contract between the city and Michael Smith.
• Approved two Russellville Gas Board appointments: Robert “Buddy” Perdue from District 2 and Ronnie McCulloch from District 5.
• Declared a vacancy for a lieutenant in the Russellville Fire Department and authorized to advertise for promotion from within the civil service.