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City Council update

By Randy Garrison

This week I thought I would share an update from the most recent city council meeting, Nov. 22. The council acted on several items, and I will elaborate in this column on the items and share information. 

The city council approved accepting and allowing me to sign the agreement with the State of Alabama and Alabama Department of Transportation for funding a sidewalk project along Sparkman Street from Pine Street to Main Street, along Chestnut to Sycamore and Sparkman Street south from Hickory Street. 

The new sidewalks will be reconstructed and will be handicap accessible. This will be the third phase of sidewalk construction in the downtown Area. The city will receive $640,000 in funding and will match with $160,000 for the project. 

The council also approved a 10-year tax abatement for Cerro Wire for a planned expansion at the Hartselle facility. The local company will expend approximately $6.7 million for manufacturing equipment, which will result in a gain of 92 jobs for the area. The tax abatements only cover non-educational property taxes and non-educational transactional taxes. The project has an estimated completion date of March 2023. 

It is always good when a longtime current business decides to reinvest and increase their footprint in your community. 

In other action the council approved bids for Hartselle Fire & Rescue for the purchase of three cardiac monitors. The bid was accepted for the amount of $50,383.69. 

The council also approved a budget adjustment for the share of alcohol sales tax with Hartselle City Schools. The budgeted amount was $45,000 and the final was $46,320 for an increase of $1,320 more that the City will share with the school system.  

The Council shares 15 percent of the alcohol taxes collected each year with Hartselle City Schools. The system agrees to spend the funds on capital needs. 

Hartselle City Schools has plans to use the funds to install awnings for the special needs bus area at Hartselle High School.  

The council also approved Safe Workplace Guidelines for the Municipal Workers Compensation Fund, which will give the City a 10 percent discount on workman’s compensation premiums for the upcoming year. 

The council approved a change in job description for a Parks and Recreation supervisor position. This is not a new position, just one that is pending to be filled after a promotion. 

The council approved a budget transfer from a donation account at the police department, approved a budget adjustment for the William Bradford Huie Library to accept CARES funding from the Alabama Public Library Service in the amount of $1,000 and approved a budget adjustment to reflect an increase in a funding grant from $10,000 to $20,000. The $10,000 increase in grant funds will be spent on new books for the local library. 

In other action, the council approved donating a surplus 1987 Ford fire truck to Ebenezer Volunteer Fire Department. The cost to repair the truck is more than the value, and the VFD wishes to repurpose the vehicle for their department. 

The city council agreed to appoint Councilman Dr. Chuck Gill as the council’s representative on the City of Hartselle Planning Commission. David Evans has agreed to fill a vacancy on the planning commission also. 

The council appointed Charles Hall to serve on the Airport Board and Christine to serve on the City Personnel Board.  

The next scheduled meeting will be held Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at Hartselle City Hall.  

The second council meeting for December will be held Dec. 15 at 9 a.m., instead of Dec. 22.