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Enquirer file photos/Gary Cosby Jr.

Council abandons plans to reopen aquatic center

The Hartselle City Council backed away from plans to reopen Hartselle Aquatic Center during a brief discussion at a regular meeting June 9, citing the inability to hire the number of lifeguards needed to operate the facility as the reason. 

“When we announced plans to open the facility June 18, it was based on our ability to hire enough certified lifeguards to safely manage the facility,” said Mayor Randy Garrison. “We have not been able to do that. A big majority of those who have applied are not certified, and we don’t have a trainer to certify them.” 

Other city personnel agreed with Garrison on the decision to remain closed. 

“I think it’s best that we don’t open the Aquatic Center,” said Councilwoman Virginia Alexander.  

“From a liability perspective, I think that’s a good idea,” added city attorney Larry Madison. 

In other business, Garrison reported the city continues to lose money with its recycling program, citing higher costs of handling recyclables and their diminished demand in the marketplace.  

“We have found a recycler in Chattanooga that will take un-separated recyclables for $95 per ton, but you have to haul them to their yard,” Garrison said. “This compares unfavorably to the $25,000 per year we are getting for recyclables we were collecting when the program was initiated more than 20 years ago.”   

The Council acted on four other agenda items as follows:  

  • approved a revision to the personnel policy to permit the employment of skilled public works employees or drivers/operators under the lateral transfer section. 
  • approved a budget adjustment request for administration in the amount of $10,000 for new city hall renovations. This item will cover the initial cost of fiber being run and other technology-related items that might occur in the current budget year. 
  • declared as surplus property a 15-foot two-axle equipment trailer and a 1986 Ford truck as surplus property in the Public Works Department and authorized their sale on 
  • approved the appointment of Christine Wyatt Wright to the William Bradford Huie of Hartselle Library Board.