Construction of Academy Sports pushed to 2020; Cullman declares State of Emergency to aid storm victims


The Cullman City Council on Monday evening approved the extension date for the beginning of the construction of Academy Sports and Outdoors to July 1, 2020. / W.C. Mann for The Tribune


CULLMAN – On Monday evening, the Cullman City Council worked its way through a packed agenda that included receiving a $450,000 community improvement grant, a State of Emergency declaration to help victims of last month’s storms, and postponement of the construction of the much-anticipated Academy Sports.

Storm emergency

The council passed a resolution declaring a state of emergency in the city of Cullman related to the March 19 hail storm.  The resolution will allow residents to place temporary housing such as RVs and campers on their property to continue to live close to their homes while repairs continue.  Through federal recovery programs, the declaration could help bring other assistance as well.

Academy Sports construction postponed

The council passed a resolution extending the commencement date for the construction of Academy Sports and Outdoors to July 1, 2020.  In March of 2017, the council agreed to $800,000 in cash incentives for the sporting goods retailer, with one of the conditions being that construction would begin within 360 days (  According to Academy’s Senior Real Estate Manager Marc Millis, who attended that council meeting Monday, the company had planned to begin construction in February of this year with a target opening date in September. That has now been pushed to summer 2020. The 62,000-square-foot facility will be located on an 8-acre lot on Lee Avenue Southwest.

Community development block grant

The council voted to accept a $450,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), to complete improvements to Brunner Street on Cullman’s west side.  

Gov. Kay Ivey awarded the grant in February. At the time, the Cullman Economic Development Agency’s Jamie Troutman said, “This award is for the second phase of the Brunner Street Neighborhood Revitalization Project.  It extends for two blocks along Brunner Street – from Denson Avenue (where Phase I stopped) to St. Joseph Drive. This project will consist of the same improvements as Phase I: Replacing water and sewer lines, storm water drainage, road repaving and sidewalks.  Construction is anticipated to begin this summer. 

Other council business

The council approved the following requests:

  • from Waid Harbison of Cullman City Parks and Recreation for a special event permit to hold Art in the Park on April 14, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the City Art Park located off Main Avenue Southwest.
  • from Travis Key of Desperation Church for a special event permit to hold a Student Ministry Party on June 4, 2018 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Depot Park.
  • from Javon Daniel of Cullman Caring for Kids for a special event permit to hold a Prayer Walk around the Cullman County Courthouse on April 18, 2018 starting at noon.
  • from Jackie Moore of the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce for a special event permit to hold 2nd Fridays in the downtown area on June 8, July 13, Aug. 10 and Sept. 14 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • from B & B Bartending, LLC (Rock the South) for a Special Events Alcohol License for on-premises consumption at Heritage Park.
  • from Samu2017, Inc. (157 Exxon) for a beer and wine alcohol license for off-premises consumption at 6390 Alabama Highway 157.  This station already has alcohol sales but is changing owners.
  • from Samu2018, Inc. (Catoma Mart) for a beer and wine alcohol License for off-premises consumption at 3259 Alabama Highway 157.  This station already has alcohol sales but is changing owners.

The council held a public hearing and first reading of an ordinance to amend the City Code of Ordinances and adopt the following codes:

  • International Building Code, 2015 edition.
  • International Existing Building Code, 2015 edition.
  • International Residential Code, 2015 edition.
  • International Plumbing Code, 2015 edition.
  • International Mechanical Code, 2015 edition.
  • International Fire Code, 2015 edition.
  • International Energy Conservation Code, 2015 edition.
  • National Electrical Code (NFPA 70), 2014 edition.
  • ICC/NSSA Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters, ICC500-2014 edition.
  • ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013 Energy Standard for Buildings except Low-Rise Residential.
  • ADA Standards for Accessible Design, 2010 edition.
  • NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, 2012 edition.

As the action was a first reading, no action was taken.

The council suspended the rules of procedure to annex property owned by William and Shelia Sandlin located at 1710 Talley Ho Street SW (Cullman Bowling Center) into the city, at the owners’ request, on the first reading of the request.

The council also passed resolutions to:

  • extend the bids for lay hot mix and for cold mix/hot mix to Good Hope Contracting Co., Inc. located in Cullman, Alabama for an additional year.
  • enter into a contract with Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood for professional services related to North Taxiway Reconstruction Phase 2 at the Cullman Regional Airport.  The cost to the City will be $81,925, less than five percent of the project cost which is mostly funded by federal and state sources.
  • approve the Fiscal Year 2016-17 Annual Audit for the City of Cullman, Alabama.  Mayor Woody Jacobs reported that the audit went smoothly.
  • enter into contract with the Cullman Electric Cooperative for utility billing services.  This is to help with billing for the numerous properties recently annexed into the city.
  • enter into a professional services contract with the North Central Alabama Regional Council of Governments (NARCOG) to assist in the review and preparation of Traditional Neighborhood Development Regulations, at a cost not to exceed $7,500.

The council also voted to reappoint Jason Knight as city judge.

The Cullman City Council meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday evenings of each month at Cullman City Hall.  The public is invited to attend.

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