Mayor: Cooperation put city in good shapePublished 1:03pm Friday, March 14, 2014
Hartselle Mayor Don Hall used the words “spirit of cooperation” several times in his State of the City Address on Thursday to describe how the city was able to operate in the black and continue to provide upgraded services for its citizens in 2014.
Speaking to more than 100 business and civic leaders at Sparkman Civic Center, Hall painted an optimistic picture for the city’s revenues and singled out school officials, Hartselle Utilities, Morgan County Commission and the county’s legislative delegation for their support on several community improvement projects.
“We are operating under a tight $10.5 million budget in fiscal 2013-2014,” Hall said, “and project expenditures to come within $9,000 of that amount. The city’s sales tax revenues were up slightly over the first four months of this fiscal years and we expect a growth of about three percent through September 2014.”
He reported a general fund balance of $3.6 million.
The long-awaited lighting of the city’s soccer complex on Groover Road was accomplished last year thanks to a special loan backed by TVA payments in lieu of taxes and the support of Hartselle Utilities.
“Lighting the field will greatly expand their use,” Hall said, “including the opportunity to host tournaments. By installing the system, HU saved the city about $60,000.”
Hall pointed to the development of an off-street downtown parking lot as an example of the city working in partnership with District 2 Commissioner Randy Vest to accomplish a needed improvement. District 1 personnel and equipment provided site prep. The lot was completed in December, adding 51 parking spaces.
Hartselle City Schools donated the use of buildings on the old Hartselle High School campus as training space for Hartselle Fire & Rescue and Hartselle Fire Department, Hall reported.
“In addition, they have agreed to deed the city a five-acre tract of land on the old F.E. Burleson Elementary site as space for the construction of a storm water retention pond.
Hall expressed appreciation to members of the Morgan County legislative delegation for helping the city negotiate an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation to wide and resurface Bethel Road as a state-funded local project.
Hall reviewed other city projects either completed or initiated in 2013-2014 as follows:
•Added an acre of paved surface to the apron at Hartselle Municipal Airport with 90 percent funding from the Federal Aviation Administration
•Initiated a landscape improvement project at Hwy. 36 and I-65. Work projected to begin this spring
•Conducted a study of the city’s inert landfill to expand useable space
•Replace the HVAC system at the William Bradford Huie Library including interior upgrades
•Complete downtown traffic study and coordinate traffic flow improvements