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By Staff
City needs a new high school
Concerning the probable vote for increased property tax to fund a new high school in Hartselle.
My husband and I are graduates of Hartselle High and parents of children of the Hartselle school system. We live one mile outside the city limits of Hartselle but consider ourselves citizens of Hartselle. We can not vote on city matters, including a property tax increase for a new high school, but our address says Hartselle, we shop in Hartselle, our doctor is in Hartselle, we read the Hartselle Enquirer, and we send our children to Hartselle schools. Our oldest graduated last year, our middle child is a junior at Hartselle High, and the youngest is a fifth grader at Barkley Bridge. With the exception of one year, they have been "out of district students" and we have paid tuition fees their entire educational career.
I completed the survey for the new high school (only one even though I have two children in the system). I did not answer the part concerning the bond issue because I felt it was unnecessary and inappropriate because of our "out of district" status. However, a new high school does affect us all. I would hope it could be completed in time for my youngest to attend there if only for a little while, but more importantly business owners and voting citizens need to consider the growth Hartselle could possible see from one new building.
We have been reading with intense interest the articles concerning the need for a new high school in the Hartselle Enquirer and the Decatur Daily. The most recent article regarding this issue was in the Decatur Daily (Sunday, Feb. 19). It emphasized the last tax referendum failure in 1990 and the issues of businesses and citizens willingness for their tax dollars "educating children who didn't live here." I don't think those voters considered the sales tax generated from those living outside the city limits but shopped and did business in Hartselle.
There are several reasons we send our children to Hartselle for their educations. The most important is the quality of education they receive, but there is also the convenience factor. Just because a county bus may stop in front of your house does not mean sending your children on a 20 mile trip to school is best for them. Up until 1990 families that were out of the school district were not charged a fee to attend the schools in Hartselle, but now we parents are charged $200 per student per year. Those fees we pay now more than compensates for what we would pay not only in an increased property tax for a year, but in our case, pays more than what our property tax is for a year.
I hope the business owners and voting citizens that baulked at the referendum in 1990, and the new business owners and voters today, will consider that the out of district students compensate in fees paid and the part they play in continuing Hartselle's reputation as one the best school systems in Alabama. Many of the out of district students are your honor roll kids, honor society members, community volunteers, and yes even "sport stars." All of Hartselle's students, in district and out of district, need and deserve and new high school. The ripple effect will increase class space for the junior high and all three elementary schools, and would only benefit the Hartselle community than do any harm whatsoever.
For the few dollars more you would pay out of your pocket every year, every one that calls Hartselle home will benefit ten fold. Amazing what one building could do for a small town.
Pamela Glenn
Trash system working well
Thank you! The new trash collection system is well thought out and well run.
I have used containers in Alabaster, Birmingham and Huntsville before moving to Hartselle. All of those administrations subcontracted the work out and none of them gave an extra container for yard trash.
Yard trash was always hit or miss. You could put yard trash and leaves on the curb, but by the time it was collected everything would be scattered all along the street. So most people simply gave up.
But the thing that is most impressive is the care with which our drivers carefully sit the empty containers back, upright and exactly where they were left. In Huntsville, particularly, you could count on the containers usually being turned over and often scattered in the street after dumping.
There will certainly be "teething" problems as we all get comfortable with the new system, but that is to be expected.
We now have a system as good as or better than any other city, plus the neat containers look far better than bagged trash.
The new system is a big improvement and all those who created it and run it deserve our appreciation.
Bill Spain