Clearing Houses – Julia Vinograd Thu, 22 Apr 2021 04:42:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Clearing Houses – Julia Vinograd 32 32 SRC issues clarification on weekend shutdown times in Odisha Thu, 22 Apr 2021 04:12:08 +0000

Bhubaneswar: The Office of the Special Commissioner for Relief (SRC) clarified on Thursday the weekend closing times to be applied in all urban areas of Odisha from April 24.

Responding to some questions from the media, the SRC said the Friday night curfew would continue until 5 a.m. on Saturday and that the weekend closure would be in effect until Monday morning thereafter. The restrictions will continue from Friday evening to Monday morning (5 a.m.).

The weekend closure, initially imposed in 10 districts bordering Chhattishgarh, has been extended to the entire urban area to break the chain of infection by limiting movement of people.

During the weekend shutdown, all medical facilities, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and medicine stores, will remain open and the movement of ambulances and all medical personnel will be allowed.

The other exemptions are as follows:

• District and city administration / police / fire brigade movement

• Central government and state officials on emergency service

• Telecommunications services

• Fuel pumps

• Distribution of LPG, home delivery of cooking gas and associated installations, associated personnel and vehicle traffic

• Print and electronic media identified by the district police station / police

• Water supply, sanitation and sewer workers

• Supply and distribution of electricity

• Movement of goods and freight carriers, whether loaded or unloaded

• Industrial establishments, factories and construction activities

• Agriculture, horticulture, fishing, animal husbandry, veterinary services and related activities, including mandis purchases.

• Service sector, including IT / IT, hotel and hotel units, including movement of staff and associated personnel.

• Rail and air traffic

• Road transport on motorways, road traffic of vehicles in transit

• Circulation of public transport, private vehicles and taxis to and from airports, train stations and bus terminals / stops / stands to facilitate the movement of passengers by air, rail and road.

• Weddings and funerals with the permission of the local authority

• ATMs and critical financial institutions such as RBI, clearing houses

• Operation of airports, railway stations, bus stations and their associated movements of personnel and activities

• Home delivery of food, groceries, vegetables and essentials to restaurants and aggregators like Zomato and Swiggy.

• Dhabas along national and national highways / main roads take out only

• Bunch of milk. and related activities

• Food and grocery stores such as Reliance Fresh, Big Bazaar, Chilika Fresh and others for home delivery only

• Newsagents between 5 am and 8 am only.

Odisha: SRC clarifies schedule for weekend shutdown Thu, 22 Apr 2021 03:32:27 +0000

Bhubaneswar: Special Commissioner for Relief (SRC) Odisha has released a clarification regarding the timing of the weekend shutdown in urban areas of the state due to the COVID-19 situation.

“In response to certain questions from the media, it is hereby clarified that the Friday evening curfew continues until 5 am Saturday, then the weekend closure continues from Saturday to Monday morning in all urban areas of the state. No one should interpret it otherwise. Indeed, the restrictions continue from Friday evening to Monday morning at 5 am, ”the SRC said in a statement.

During the weekend, all activities must be closed except the following:
. All medical facilities, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, including drug stores, ambulance movement, and all medical personnel.
. District and municipal administration / police / fire departments.
. Central and state government officials on emergency service.
. Telecommunications services.
. Gasoline pumps.
. Distribution of LPG, home delivery of cooking gas and associated installations, associated personnel and vehicle traffic.
. Print and electronic media identified by the district police station / police.
. Water supply, sanitation and sewer workers.
. Supply and distribution of electricity.
. Movement of goods and freight carriers, whether loaded or unloaded.
. Industrial establishments, factories and construction activities.
. Agriculture, horticulture, fishing, animal husbandry, veterinary services and related activities, including purchases in Mandis.

. Service sector industries, including IT / ITeS, Hospitality and Hospitality units. Operation of hotels and hospitality units, including their associated offices, movement of staff and associated personnel.
. Circulation of rail and air transport.
. Road transport on the motorway, road traffic of vehicles in transit.
. Moving public transport, private vehicles and taxis (including taxis from aggregators like Ola, Uber, etc.) to and from airports, train station and bus terminals / stations / stops, to facilitate the movement of passengers by plane, train and road
. Weddings and funerals, with permission from local authorities
. ATMs and critical financial institutions like RBI, clearing houses.
. Operation of airports, railway stations, bus stations and their associated offices, movement of personnel and associated activities.
. Home delivery of food, groceries, vegetables and essentials by restaurants and aggregators such as Zomato, Swiggy, etc.
. Dhabas along national and national highways / main roads take out only.
. Milk booths and related activities.
. Food and grocery stores such as Reliance Fresh, Big Bazaar, Chilika Fresh and others for home delivery only.
. Newspaper vendors between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. only.

]]> Utah County Commission Approves Budget Changes, Paving the Way for Property Tax Reduction | Government and Politics Thu, 22 Apr 2021 00:30:00 +0000

The Utah County Commission on Wednesday voted to approve the 2021 budget changes, a move paving the way for the governing body to reverse a controversial property tax increase in 2019.

The budget changes, which were proposed by Commissioner Bill Lee, include a decrease of $ 4.8 million in the county’s forecast property tax revenue for 2021, which Lee says equates to a reduction of about 25% in the 2019 increase in the portion of property taxes collected. by the county.

Additionally, the changes approved on Wednesday include an increase in sales tax revenue forecast of $ 2.8 million due to the Utah County economy outperforming during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lee referred to the changes, which he and Commissioner Tom Sakievich approved in a 2-0 vote, as a “preliminary step … as we take a more in-depth look at what we can do” to reduce the rate of the property tax. He noted that the commission will not set this year’s property tax rate until June 30.

“If that passes today, that $ 4.8 million in the form of tax rate reduction will be easy, because we’ve kind of already put it in place,” the commissioner said on Wednesday.

The proposal to reduce projected property tax revenues was passed without the support of county finance staff.

Jeremy Walker, director of financial services, told commissioners that finance staff recommended the proposed changes “with the exception of reducing property tax revenues, especially because the reduction in property tax revenues does not match the reduction corresponding spending, which is the preferred method of matching property taxes with the continued reduction in spending. “

Walker, who noted that the finance team recently shrank from two to six people “in part because of this tax hike”, warned that the proposed property tax cut “could have a dramatic impact.” out of various county funds, not just the $ 100 million. general fund which was discussed at the meeting.

The CFO also emphasized “caution” over a 10-year budget projection tool that the two commissioners said they used to review the budget, which he said was a big deal. “beta version”.

“And if this is the only model that is used, we have concerns about it,” he said.

Lee acknowledged that the projection tool would not provide “perfect projections”, but added that “this is why forecasting budgets should always be done in pencil. Because as you expect in the future, it will take some erasure time here and there. “

Commissioners clashed with budget staff earlier this year over a proposal to move staff from the Utah County Clerk / Auditor’s office to that of the commission. The change, which Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson called “crazy,” was approved and then reversed.

Several residents spoke out in favor of efforts to reduce the property tax rate, which a previous composition of the commission approved in December 2019 in an attempt to balance the county’s budget and accommodate a population in rapid growth.

“I think we all realize there was a major problem last year with taxes,” said Dale Summerhays. “It’s a serious problem because it will force people to leave their homes if it continues at this rate.”

Summerhays also urged the commission to do something “to prevent this thing (a property tax increase) from happening in the future.”

Lee said he would continue to “look to lower property tax and also analyze where we may have overcharged.”

“Is there more? Is there maybe more? I hope so, because I think there can be,” he said.

The commissioner continued, “I believe the citizens of this riding have a mandate to be financially responsible, to be limited in what we do and to find ways to alleviate some of the burden that they are doing. have on them.

A resident asked why the commissioners were making budget decisions when there was a vacant position on the commission. Sakievich said that “the vacancy was unexpected” and that the commissioners “have (already) put in place a process to start having this dialogue, and we are being constrained by a number of weeks to finish it from here.”

The Commissioner acknowledged that the vacancy had “made things difficult”, but added that he believed that “we can still move forward in the process to at least address the areas where we think we can find efficiencies and go. forward, with just the two of us.

The Utah County Republican Party will select a candidate to fill the vacant committee position on Saturday.

Connor Richards covers government, the environment and southern Utah County for the Daily Herald. He can be contacted at and 801-344-2599.

German court clears way for EU COVID-19 recovery fund Wed, 21 Apr 2021 17:30:00 +0000

BERLIN, April 21 (Xinhua) – Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court on Wednesday dismissed an urgent appeal against the European Union (EU) COVID-19 Comprehensive Recovery Fund, removing an immediate legal hurdle preventing the country from participating in its launch .

The complaint was “neither inadmissible from the outset nor manifestly unfounded,” the highest German court noted in a statement. However, it “does not seem very likely” that the court will find a violation of the country’s basic law through the EU’s common fund.

Last year, EU leaders agreed to a € 750 billion (US $ 902 billion) stimulus fund to address the economic and social impact of the COVID pandemic -19. It was approved by the Bundestag and Bundesrat, the lower and upper houses of parliament respectively, in March.

Following the complaint filed by a citizens’ initiative around a founding member of the far-right German party Alternative for Germany (AfD), the court initially ordered that the corresponding law could not be approved by the president federal government.

The actual constitutional complaint has not yet been decided and will be settled in the main proceedings. The European Commission cannot start borrowing and disbursing the COVID-19 fund until all member states have fully ratified the decision.

Banks should reduce their opening hours and operate with 50% staff Wed, 21 Apr 2021 17:27:00 +0000

Opening hours may be limited from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks will likely prompt Telangana’s banks to cut hours of operation and operate many of their branches with half their workforce.

Under active scrutiny after several hundred employees and bank agents were infected with the virus, these measures and a few others were discussed at a special meeting of the state-level bankers committee on Wednesday, said. several sources said. The SLBC’s decision, especially the decision to take effect of the changes, is likely to be communicated late at night, they said.

According to the meeting agenda, the proposal was to put the arrangements in place from April 22 to May 15. A clear picture will emerge Thursday morning, a source said.

The proposals that could be implemented include limiting opening hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and closing banks at 4 p.m. Overall, that would mean an hour less available for customers to transact at branches. Regarding banks operating with 50% staff, a senior official at a large public sector bank said it was unlikely to be implemented in small branches or establishments with fewer than eight employees.

The 50% or alternating working day standard for staff members will apply to control offices, administrative offices and large and medium-sized branches.

In doing so, however, banks will ensure that all alternative (banking) distribution channels remain operational. Bank back-office services including currency safes, ATM cash load vendors, core banking solutions projects, data center offices, data recovery centers, ATM back offices, security operations centers for cybersecurity, service branches, clearing houses and treasury offices of banks and other facilities authorized by the head office of the bank will operate as normal .

Leaders of banking unions told the State Bank of India, which has a workforce of 12,500 in the state, that more than 625 employees have tested positive for COVID-19, while the number at all banks could be between 1200 and 1500.

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine unions representing bank employees and executives, also called on SLBC to consider various measures in the wake of the increase in COVID-19 cases, including reduced working hours, working with staff, opting for the central bank or offering services in some branches, as well as to vaccinate bankers

SEF FIA Tracker March 2021 Wed, 21 Apr 2021 17:21:38 +0000

The volume of transactions on swap execution facilities reached $ 1.07 trillion in average notional value per day in March 2021. This was the third highest monthly average in SEF trading history, eclipsed only in February and January of this year.

Swaps of interest rate swaps and other non-FRA rate products totaled $ 604.8 billion per day in March, up 11.6% from February 2021 and up 9.1% % from March 2020. FRA trade reached $ 316.9 billion on a daily average in March, down 27.6% from the previous month, but up 13.3% from last year.

Credit default swap trading averaged $ 84.2 billion per day in March, the second highest on record after $ 121.3 billion per day in March 2020. The market share of Bloomberg declined to 67.1% while Tradeweb’s share rose to 22.7%.

Foreign exchange trading on FLS reached $ 67.2 billion per day in March, the second highest amount recorded for any March and an increase of 4.2% from the previous month. Tullett Prebon held the largest share of trading volume, with 31.4%, followed by BGC with 20.4%.

Overview: Recent trading activity for interest rate derivatives, credit default derivatives and foreign exchange derivatives on US swap execution facilities.

Comparison chart: Monthly data on trading activity at each swap execution facility, with separate tables for interest rate derivatives, credit default derivatives and currency derivatives.

Historical volume: Monthly volume of FLS in three asset classes: interest rate, credit and foreign exchange as well as ranking of volume by asset class and ranking of FLS by volume.

Rates Monthly volume: Based on currency derivatives trading on SEFs in the United States, visualizations include monthly volume, volume categorized by currency, volume for each SEF, and market share for each SEF.

Monthly loan volume: Based on FX derivatives trading on US SEFs, visualizations include monthly volume, volume listed by index name, volume for each SEF, and market share for each SEF.

Monthly currency volume: Based on FX derivatives trading on US SEFs, visualizations include monthly volume, volume ranked by quote currency, volume for each SEF, and market share for each SEF.

The FIA ​​publishes three other data products: the FCM Tracking, which provides information on the financial condition of futures traders in the United States; the CCP tracker, which provides quarterly data on risk exposures in derivative clearing houses; and a monthly report on volume of derivatives traded on the stock exchange and open interest. The FIA ​​provides these data products as a service to its members and as part of its mission to promote a better understanding of global derivatives markets.

3M innovator takes up residence at Dellwood | New Wed, 21 Apr 2021 12:37:50 +0000

A 1929 home on the Dellwood Peninsula hasn’t changed much in nearly 100 years, both inside and out. The same family owns the property, using it as a summer home just like its original owner, Francis G. Okie, described as a “distracted” inventor who became a member of 3M’s first dream team.

It is likely that Lucius Ordway, a 3M investor who spent the summer in Dellwood in the late 1880s, convinced a few fellow leaders to settle in the rural community, including Edgar Ober, chairman, and Okie, l man responsible for waterproof sandpaper. His invention helped revive the struggling St. Paul business, known at the time as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing.

Okie’s grandson, Jesse Okie, official custodian of the remarkable property, shared both his grandfather’s success story and the house’s unique story – one with a connection to F. Scott Fitzgerald – during a rare visit to the residence.

Francis “Frank” Okie was working in the ink business in Philadelphia in 1920 when he wrote to 3M vice president William McKnight (another Dellwood summer resident). He had an idea for sandpaper that could be used with water to reduce dust that caused lung disease among workers in auto assembly lines. Would the company provide sand samples?

“Mr. McKnight saw an opportunity,” Okie said. “3M hired my grandfather and acquired his sandpaper patents.”

So the family of seven, with his wife Rebecca and all but the oldest of five, left the East Coast and moved to St. Paul’s Lincoln Avenue. This was in 1922. Okie started the research department, where he was joined by Dick Drew, the inventor of the Scottish ribbon, and Richard Carlton.

In the book “A Century of Innovation – The Story of 3M”, the three men were dubbed the Dream Team, each bringing unique skills to the growing company. Okie has been described as “the accomplished inventor, open to new ideas; bright, but distracted.

He often had eight to ten hats on his hat tree at the office because he forgot to wear them at home at night, according to the book. Jesse Okie added that his grandfather would drive one of his two Packards to work, be driven home by a colleague, via the golf course, and drive the second car the next day, ending up with both vehicles in 3M parking lot. and none at home the next morning.

Francis and Rebecca Okie bought the Dellwood property in 1924 to use as a summer cottage. After burning down five years later, the couple learned that two 1890s cottages near the Yacht Club were due to be demolished.

The Obers were building a new house south of the clubhouse that required clearing two of the oldest remaining cabins in Dellwood. They belonged to Laura Read and Alfred Clarks. Rather than raze them, Ober gave the cabins to the Okies.

It was his grandmother, Jesse said, who noticed the similarity between the gables of the two cottages and saw the potential to bring the two together.

A photo of the winter move appears in Paul Clifford Larson’s book, “A Walk Through Dellwood”. Trucks and horse teams pulled the houses through the ice and up to the site at the top of the hill. St. Paul architect Edwin Lundie was enlisted to help unite the two chalets in a style described as neo-colonial.

As with many houses in Dellwood, the Okie Cottage had a connection to Fitzgerald. He was a close friend of Cecil Read, son of Laura Read, who put the novelist and his wife Zelda for a time in the cottage before he moved.

The connection always catches the interest of the house, which is included in several books from Fitzgerald sites in St. Paul and White Bear Lake.

The old-fashioned interior and eclectic furnishings of the house haven’t changed much over the century. Francis Okie’s collections of American glass, fossils and rocks, rare books and Native American art are on display throughout the house. Her favorite rocker still sits in the elegant living room next to a marble inlaid fireplace. The expansive library can be viewed from a staircase overlooking the Ober half of the house, a feature designed by Lundie. The beautiful Ponderosa pine solidifies a double wall connecting the two chalets and makes the living room and dining room warm and inviting.

His grandfather died in 1975; Rebecca in 1949, when Jesse was 2 years old. Their son Richardson and his wife Susan, Jesse’s parents, also lived in the house until their death.

Guardianship of the family heirloom, co-owned with two sisters who live in the East, now rests with Jesse, a retired architect with an education in Princeton, who lives on Lake Avenue. One day he might build his own chalet on the site, he said, in the dell overlooking the lake. It would face west toward the setting sun, a sight Fitzgerald would have seen before leaving Minnesota for good in 1922 for Paris and New York. The inspiration for the “Great Gatsby”, the main reason we still talk about today, was already brewing in his head.

ICE Announces Record 18,848 Murban Crude Oil Futures Traded April 20 | Wed, 21 Apr 2021 12:36:17 +0000

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – (BUSINESS WIRE) – April 21, 2021 –

Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of market data, technology and infrastructure, today announced that a record 18,848 crude oil futures contracts ICE Murban traded on ICE Futures Abu Dhabi (“FIDA”) on April 20, marking its highest volume day since contracts launched on March 29. Along with the ICE Murban crude oil futures contracts, IFAD has initiated trading in 18 cash-settled derivatives and inter-commodity spreads linked to Murban, providing the market with the widest range of trading and hedging methods. Murban crude oil.

A total of 132,450 contracts have been negotiated at IFAD since inception, or 132 million barrels of Murban crude oil. This includes 125,890 Murban ICE crude oil futures and 6,560 Murban-related cash-settled derivatives, 49 companies having traded at IFAD since inception.

“Although we are only in the fourth week, we are seeing weekly growth in volumes traded and open interest in fast and delayed months, with activity through January 2022. New daily volume records are set. established every week, and there are an increasing number of participants trading Murban, ”said Jamal Oulhadj, President of ICE Futures Abu Dhabi. “This is a very encouraging start and truly reflects how the energy industry is using its new ability to hedge Murban crude futures price risk as the physical and financial aspects of the market come together to contribute to the price formation process of Murban crude oil. “

Murban Futures are open for trading 24 hours a day on Mondays and 22 hours a day Tuesday through Friday, with investors from jurisdictions such as Abu Dhabi Global Market, United States, Singapore, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Netherlands, France, Norway, Australia, Japan and South Korea, able to negotiate with IFAD. IFAD has 27 exchange members and 20 clearing members, which are listed in full Membership page.

Contracts traded on IFAD are cleared through ICE Clear Europe where they are cleared alongside ICE’s global energy futures platform spanning oil, natural gas and environmental complex, allowing clients to benefit from critical margin offsets to improve capital efficiency.

About Intercontinental Exchange

Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE) is a Fortune 500 company that designs, builds, and operates digital networks to connect people to opportunity. We provide financial technology and data services across major asset classes that provide our clients with access to critical workflow tools that increase transparency and operational efficiency. We operate Trades, including the New York Stock Exchange, and clearing houses that help people invest, raise capital and manage risk across multiple asset classes. Our global fixed income data services and execution capabilities provide insights, analytics, and platforms that help our clients take advantage of opportunities and operate more efficiently. AT ICE Mortgage Technology, we’re transforming and digitizing the US residential mortgage process, from consumer engagement to loan registration. Together, we transform, streamline and automate industries to connect our customers to opportunities.

Trademarks of ICE and / or its subsidiaries include Intercontinental Exchange, ICE, ICE block design, NYSE, and New York Stock Exchange. Information regarding additional trademarks and intellectual property rights of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. and / or its affiliates can be found here. The key information documents for certain products covered by the EU Regulation on packaged retail and insurance-based investment products can be found on the relevant exchange website under the heading ‘Documents d’ key information (KIDS) ”.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 – Statements in this press release regarding ICE’s business that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of additional risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in forward-looking statements, see documents filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of ICE, including, but not limited to limited thereto, the risk factors in ICE’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, as filed with the SEC on February 4, 2021.

Source: Intercontinental exchange

CONTACT: ICE media contact:



SOURCE: Intercontinental exchange

Copyright Business Wire 2021.

PUB: 04/21/2021 8:36 a.m. / DISC: 04/21/2021 8:36 a.m.

Copyright Business Wire 2021.

BJP-led MCD fails to clean up garbage accumulated outside homes of COVID-19 positive patients in home isolation: AAP chief Durgesh Pathak | Delhi News Wed, 21 Apr 2021 05:30:08 +0000

NEW DELHI: Aam Aadmi party leader and MCD official Durgesh Pathak said on Tuesday that the BJP-led MCD is not cleaning up the garbage of COVID-19 patients who are in home isolation.

He said more than 37,000 people in Delhi are in isolation at home and that due to mismanagement of cleaning up the garbage from these patients, there is a huge risk of the virus spreading, for which the BJP will be solely responsible.

Pathak said he would ask Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta to form a team and oversee this issue of cleaning up the garbage of people isolated in their homes. He said the BJP-led MCD had plundered Delhi for the past 15 years, but during a health emergency it should streamline garbage cleaning and avoid dirty politics.

Shri Pathak said: “You are witnessing the COVID-19 outbreak in Delhi. Yesterday we registered about 23,000 cases. In order to combat this, the Delhi government imposed a six day lockdown and I am happy that every Delhi citizen has supported this decision. They follow lockdown rules, are at home, spend time with family members, wear masks and maintain their social distance. “

He said: “Those who test positive for COVID have two treatment options. First, most people stay at home and seek treatment, known as “home isolation” or “home quarantine”. And those whose health deteriorates, with declining oxygen levels, are admitted to hospitals. ”

“Today, around 37,337 patients are placed in home quarantine. They seek treatment at home. They are connected to doctors and government facilities in Delhi. In this whole process, the MCD led by the BJP has a crucial role to play. Waste generated by the patient in home isolation must be collected and processed by the MCD according to certain guidelines. They have a report showing which person in which house was quarantined. A special vehicle is sent which collects the garbage and treats it in a different way. “

Pathak said: “It is unfortunate that the leaders of the BJP engage in politics, but where work is needed, they do not. Today, the MCD led by the BJP does not collect the garbage generated by these 37,000 patients who are quarantined at home. In some of these houses, someone is sent after an interval of 7-8 days to pick up the garbage. You must have friends who would have been isolated at home; you can ask them about it and check it out. If this waste is not treated appropriately, the cases will only increase. For this, the MCD led by the BJP would be responsible. “

Pathak added, “Now is not the time for politics. I would like to call the BJP – the damage you have done in Delhi has already been suffered. But now you have to stand with the people and pick up the garbage from the homes of 37,000 patients who are in home quarantine. “

Pathak also said, “I would like to appeal to Adesh Gupta to engage in politics later. You need to set up a team and monitor it personally, making sure that garbage is picked up from every house or not, as if it is not disposed of properly, it will lead to the spread of the virus. Therefore, I would like to tell the BJP MCD to do your job and not to indulge in politics. The work that the citizens of Delhi have entrusted to you – those who are isolated at home are treated by the government of Delhi – but the work of garbage collection at their homes is to be done by the MCD led by the BJP, and it has to happen soon. . “


Hueytown residents concerned about AU timber plans Wed, 21 Apr 2021 02:01:01 +0000

Some fear that the University’s plans to clear hundreds of acres of land in the area could destroy wildlife and pose a threat to the city’s water system.

The University of Alabama plans to clearcut a 700-acre parcel of endowed land in Hueytown, Alabama, about 45 minutes from campus. Some community members say it could harm the environment and their way of life.

The University has owned and sold land for over a century. the mission of the Land Department of the University is “manage land and real estate to provide income for the University endowment fund. ”

Fred Smith, a Hueytown resident and UA alumnus, said he decided to investigate when he heard the University would be harvesting timber or cutting down all trees in the area surrounding his neighborhood. The 700 acres of land owned by UA have been selectively cut in the past, but never completely cut.

Smith contacted the University’s real estate and land services department within the finance and operations division. He got the impression from a receptionist that the project was imminent and was told to wait for a call from UA Lands Forester Ben Pinkleton. Smith said he never received this call, so he emailed AU President Stuart Bell.

“It’s like they want to keep it a secret,” he said.

A statement to the CW confirmed that the University planned to harvest timber from the land.

“Public and private forestry operations have been underway for decades in the area of ​​this proposed harvest,” the statement said. “The long-term impact is positive to minimize fire risks, their severity and intensity. The University will take care of the land and replant the plot relative to the final harvest date. The clearing buffer zone is 30 feet from residential homes and not from the property line. ”

Smith said he believed the project would be devastating for Hueytown. The land surrounds a residential area and is home to over 10 endangered species. The grounds are currently home to threatened and endangered species like the flattened musk turtle, the Black Warrior water dog, and the watercress stinger.

“I don’t see how it could be anything but bad for this community,” he said. “It’s going to be ugly and dangerous.”

Hueytown High School – with over 1,000 students – is across the street from Smith’s neighborhood. Smith was particularly concerned about the University’s plan to apply liquid herbicides to the area to remove all vegetation after a waiting period of one to two years. Herbicides have been shown cause severe respiratory damage.

Hueytown City Attorney Charlie Waldrep discussed a potential legal remedy with Smith and city officials in an email thread. If logging results in surface water runoff onto neighboring property, community members can apply for an injunction to prevent further damage. This option would only be available to residents who own their land.

If the clear cuts overload the city’s water system, the city can take legal action.

The University statement said the plan is in line with AU forest and land management practices that comply with federal and state regulations for forestry activities.

According to an email sent to Smith by Tim Leopard, senior associate vice president for campus development, the plan includes replanting pines at the rate of 675 loblolly pine plants per acre, after the waiting period of one to two years.

Tom Franzem, a Ph.D. biology student studying ecology and grasslands and president of the AU Conservation Biology Society, said trees and ecosystem habitats are vital for communities.

“Biodiversity has great aesthetic and cultural value,” he said. “It’s really important and I think it’s the character of different places. We are currently living at a rate where things are dying out that we don’t even know yet. “

Franzem said the use of pesticides and other chemical toxins in wildlife habitats can lead to faster extinction of vertebrates, massive loss of land and aquatic species.

This is not the first time that the value of the land has been noticed. Hueytown Mayor Steve Ware said he contacted the University two years ago about leasing the land to build a park because the western half of Hueytown did not have one. After several unsuccessful attempts to contact the university, her request was refused because the university “doesn’t do that anymore”.

Ware was not told of the current clearcut plan, but said he was opposed to the plan.

“It’s just strange that they haven’t even tried to tell us what their plans are,” he said. “They haven’t told us anything and that bothers me.”

Smith said that – although the University is not legally required to do so – he believes the University is making a mistake in not contacting community members about this decision in advance. He said he believed this plan would reduce property values ​​and have a lasting negative impact.

It’s not good for the community or the environment, ”he said. “It’s only good in the short term for UA to make a profit, but that’s not the way to increase it.”

While preparations for the clearcut are currently underway, Smith said he will do everything in his power to fight back on behalf of the community he has lived in for over 60 years.

“If it was a private person or a company, that would be one thing, but UA shouldn’t be doing that,” he said. “This land is part of me and it is a special place.”

Pinkleton declined The Crimson White’s request for comment.