Mayor: ‘We’re going to be OK’
Mayor Don Hall said the City of Hartselle is in good shape, citing growth in sales tax revenue along with new business that has located to the city.
“We have all that we need,” Hall said during his State of the City Address. “We might not have everything we want, but we’re going to be OK.”
Hall delivered his annual State of the City Address to a crowd of about 100 at Sparkman Civic Center Thursday. During his speech, he updated the residents, businessmen and local politicians about the city’s departments and projects.
Bob Francis, a former member of the Hartselle Industrial Development Board and project manager of the Special Needs Accessible Playground of Morgan County, had positive remarks for Hall’s speech.
“It’s probably the most comprehensive report that I’ve seen at the State of the City,” Francis said. “It’s a positive review of the city. It appears like we’re on an upturn.”
One area of concern that Hall talked about was the TVA in lieu of tax revenues, which has fallen nearly $130,000 since a height of $1.06 million in fiscal year 2012 to $934,467 in fiscal year 2014.
“After talking with Commission Chairman Ray Long, he expects those numbers to stay flat or even be a little bit less,” Hall said. “It’s something that we’re concerned about, but there’s nothing we can do change it.”
Positives that Hall pointed out included an increase of business licenses and sales tax. The business licenses increase by nearly $7,000 in fiscal year 2014.
“Seventy-five to 80 percent of our collections come in during the month of January,” Hall said. “We expect those numbers to be up when all of our business licenses are collected this year.”
Sales tax revenue has also increased by more than $400,000 over the last three years, and Hall expects those numbers to increase once again.
“We hope to be up about a half million dollars,” Hall said.
Hall also said he’s encouraged by a number of businesses that have decided to locate in Hartselle and others that have made renovations.
“When Dollar Tree moved to its new store, it was almost no time before Sally Beauty Supply and the AT&T store filled the space that the old Dollar Tree took up,” Hall said. “Bill Ming also has several tenants ready to go in his new shopping center. He’s just not ready to announce them at this time.”
Other projects he discussed included the downtown flood mitigation projects, replacing the city’s chipper with a fire curtain burner, Thompson Road expansion, Main Street East expansion near I-65, the landscaping project and the downtown traffic signal study, which would create one-way streets in downtown Hartselle.