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Hartselle mayor’s focus in new year on flood control, business growth

Published 11:37am Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hartselle Mayor Don Hall sees the new year as one of increased emphasis on mitigating draining problems and prospecting for new businesses.

“A lot of attention was recently focused on building a retention pond in the northeast sector of the city to help control storm water runoff in the downtown area,” Hall said, “and that will stay on the front burner as we enter the New Year.

“We also have major drainage problems on the west side of the railroad and on Highway 31 from Highway 36. to Vaughn Bridge Road,” he added. “The runoff from both of these drainage basins also runs through the central business district.”

Hall said the city currently has two federal grants totaling $813,000 for flood mitigation. One is a $488,00 grant with a 20 percent match and the other is a $325,000 grant with a 25 percent local match. Both are subject to in-kind services and Hall said the city’s resources would be used to meet the local match requirements.

“Hopefully, we’ll have enough money to address drainage issues west of the railroad and qualify for a grant from ADECA to address the drainage problem on Highway 31,” he added.

Hall said business growth will continue to be a priority in 2014.

“We will have a delegation at southeast commerical’s retail development seminar in Nashville, Tenn. Jan. 16,” Hall pointed out. “I will be accompanied by councilman Ken Doss and Department of Development director Jeff Johnson. It will be our mission to get to know the many retail business executives there and put Hartselle’s best foot forward as a contender for new businesses.

“I’ve been told by a Southeast Commercial representative that we’ll. be able to bring home a directory (complete with contact information) of all the businesses registered at the seminar,” Hall stated. . Our plan will be to use it to do follow-up work.”

Hall said another priority in the New Year is to update plans and acquire rights-of-way for the widening of Thompson Road from two lanes to five lanes. ADECA is footing the bill for the work.”

Other priorities include landscape improvements on Highway 31 and I-65 interchanges, traffic signalization upgrades in the Central Business District and overhead lighting improvements at Reuben Sims and 11 and 12-year old baseball fields in Sparkman Park.

“Sales tax receipts for the first two months (October and November) of the current fiscal year showed year-to-year increases.” Hall pointed out. “Hopefully. the trend will continue throughout the new year.”

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