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Falkville mayor to retire

Jimmie Walker’s retirement plans will be cut loose next week when he steps down as Falkville’s mayor and utilities superintendent after seven and one-half years on the job.

Following in his footsteps will be Bob Ramey, a longtime friend. He and five council members will officially form a new administration on Tues., Nov. 6.

“I was looking forward to retirement in July 2005 when the mayor accepted a job in South Florida and left,” Walker said. “I was also surprised when my fellow council members turned to me and asked me if I would take the job.

“I’m ready to go and let the new mayor take over,” Walker stated. “Bob is a good man and will do a good job.

“However, I have mixed feelings about leaving. I know I’m going to miss having daily contact and the close working relationship I’ve enjoyed with the town’s employees over the years.”

Walker said he is looking forward to spending more time with his family, catching up on farm work and taking on some new projects in his woodworking shop. He is also an active member of First Baptist Church-Hartselle, Falkville Lions Club and the Cullman Woodworkers Guild.

Under Walker’s leadership, Falkville has made substantial progress in retail business development

Walker pointed to the location of Love’s Travel Center on I-65 as the centerpiece of a concerted effort to grow business and create a new source of tax revenue linked directly to interstate traffic. Joining Love’s was two fast food establishments, Subway and McDonald’s. A Dollar General Store located nearby short time later and Lawrimore’s Trailers expanded its trailer sales operation by adding hardware, plumbing and electrical fixtures lines.

“Our sales tax collections have improved and made it possible for us to do more to improve the town,” Walker said.

In addition, the town received two federal grants totaling over $1.5 million for infrastructure improvements under Walker’s watch. The money was used to rehab sewer lines on the east side of town, upgrade drainage, construct a sidewalk from downtown to I-65 and replace equipment and make other improvements to Jack McCaig Park.

The town’s library was expanded and renovated, fore and police departments were upgrade and three new patrol cars and a utility vehicle were purchased recently.

Walker said of the improvements made, he is most pleased with the renovation of two main pumping stations, including backup pumps, which has virtually eliminated sewage overflows at manhole locations.

“We still have a lot of utility work to be done and there’s a need for more street resurfacing,” he pointed out. “But for the most part I’m comfortable with the progress that has been made.”

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