City eyes reserves for cap ex work

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle may devote $1 million from its general fund to serve as seed money for a list of capital improvement projects.
Mayor Clif Knight said the council is considering using money from its general fund to fund some projects. The city currently has some $4.5 million in the general reserve.
"We're looking at where we want to prioritize and where we would want that money to be spent," Knight said.
The council has a $29 million capital improvement plan that includes items such as road improvements, equipment purchases and money for the school system. From the onset, Knight said he thought the plan hinged on the approval of a 10-mill property tax increase.
However, the majority of citizens at a public hearing on the capital improvement plan said they would not support a tax increase.
Hartselle residents currently pay 5 mills in property tax.
Knight said the capital improvement plan will be brought up at the council's next work session, set for May 12 at 6 p.m. at city hall.
At that meeting, council members will discuss whether it will adopt the capital improvement plan; whether to use the city's money to jump-start the work; and where council members feel the seed money should be spent.
The $1 million would be only a drop in the bucket for the entire plan, however.
Under the current proposal, some $1.6 million would go towards school system needs and improvements. The rest of the money would be spent on a variety of projects, including airport improvements, expansion of the landfill and equipment needs for the police and fire department. The two largest expenses would be for road work and repair, including $5.7 million for the Northern by-pass project and $5.7 million for Thompson Road and $4.5 million for the renovation of the old Burleson School.
City officials have not said how they plan to fund the balance of the projects.

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