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City update part one

By Randy Garrison

After presenting an update on the City of Hartselle a couple of weeks ago, I thought I would share some of the information to you over a few weeks. There are so many great things happening in our city I want to keep sharing this with as many folks as possible, that call Hartselle home. I will begin with our city finances and go through each department’s growth and current status.

The revenue for the City of Hartselle for the last fiscal year ending September 30, 2018 was $12.4 million. This was an increase over 2017 of $780,000 or 7.75% growth in revenue. The alcohol revenue was $244, 570. Total expenses were $12.94 million, which included pulling $500,000 from the general fund to fully finance the Capital Projects Expenses of $2.9 million.

Current numbers for the city:

$12.5 million in budgeted revenue

$245,750 alcohol revenue budgeted

$12.7 million in expenses which includes $2.67 million in capital expenses.

We are currently exceeding revenue budgeted and we are below budgeted expenses, six months into the fiscal year.

Daily operations of the city are managed by 6 Departments:

Administration, Department of Development, Hartselle Fire & Rescue, Hartselle Fire Department, Hartselle Parks and Recreation and Hartselle Public Works.

The finances of the city, city records, municipal court, human resources and IT all fall under administration.

The Department of Development handles city planning, zoning, strategic planning for the future, GIS mapping, approving all building and development plans, resolving nuisance complaints, manages the municipal airport and markets the city for residential, commercial and retail growth.

Recent updates include a new residential/professional zone added, with the first on Main St. East. The hiring of a new code enforcement officer will aid in the collection of past due business licenses, enforcement of city codes and extensively with nuisance abatements. Last year several abandoned and nuisance structures were removed and more will be handled this year.

The DOD also is working to help procure land for a second detention pond that will be located between Railroad Street and the railroad tracks. This will further slow the storm water flow into the downtown area and aid in reducing flooding during heavy rain events.

The DOD also oversees many of the infrastructure projects such as the construction of new sidewalks currently occurring on Hickory and Railroad Streets. This project was made possible through a Transportation Alternative Grant through The Alabama Department of Transportation. Once this project is completed folks will be able to walk from Slate Gallery all the way to The Freight House, and crossing streets withstanding, never leave a city sidewalk.

Future plans include constructing sidewalks along Bethel Street to both the high school and Burleson Elementary. Also plans to install sidewalks from downtown headed north up Sparkman Street towards First Baptist.

The Hartselle Police Department has a new chief, with Justin Barley moving into that position recently and Robert Finn was recently named Captain. The police department has added five new officers and is currently fully staffed.

The city continues to replace aged police vehicles, purchasing 4 vehicles in 2018 and another 3 in 2019 and more planned for the coming year. Also, body cameras were purchased late in 2018, along with new in car cameras as well.

More good news for HPD includes a plan to enable retired police officers to serve as School Protection Officers in Hartselle City Schools. The city would provide uniforms, weapons, training and a vehicle with the school system paying the salary.  

Stay tuned in the following weeks for more news about our city.