Cullman City Council honors fire chief Edward Reinhardt; city revenues up 4.5%


Billy Atchison, left, a fire equipment supplier, stopped by to honor Cullman Fire Rescue Chief Edward Reinhardt, right, and present him a few tokens of appreciation. Reinhardt is retiring April 30 after 40 years of service. (W.C. Mann for The Tribune)

CULLMAN – The Cullman City Council on Monday night honored retiring Cullman Fire Rescue Chief Edward “Junior” Reinhardt with a certificate of retirement, expressing its appreciation for his 40 years of service to the city, and with a visit from a friend and business colleague.  

Billy Atchison of Sunbelt Fire, one of Cullman Fire Rescue’s equipment suppliers, presented the chief with a fireman figurine.  After that, noting that Reinhardt had on many occasions talked to him about going fishing but always seemed too busy to go, Atchison presented him with a pair of rod/reel combos.

Atchison said, “I deal with hundreds, and pushing over a thousand, fire departments in the state of Alabama.  I deal with Mobile, Montgomery, Hoover, Vestavia Hills, Mountain Brook, Huntsville, Muscle Shoals, Gadsden. I deal with some fine men in our state, and, Chief Reinhardt, there’s none better than you.”

Atchison also told incoming Chief Brian Bradberry that Reinhardt was “one of the shortest men I’ve ever met, but Chief Bradberry, you are about to walk into some shoes that are larger than you can imagine.”

Council President Garlan Gudger and Councilman Andy Page presented the council’s certificate of retirement to the chief.  Page read the certificate and presented a copy to Reinhardt. Gesturing to the large crowd of firefighters assembled in the back of the auditorium, Gudger told the chief:

“You’ve always made the right decision for these guys back here, for this city, and for the people sitting in here, and for the people outside here.  And I’m going to miss knowing that I’ve just got you on my team, even though I can call you anytime, day or night, like I have. But I’m going to miss you just being up here, and I just wanted to come down here to say thank you, I love you, and we’re always going to be friends, and we’re going to need you still.”

Other council business

Councilwoman Jenny Folsom reported that city revenues are up 4.5 percent, meaning an extra $787,000 in the City’s accounts.  Sales tax revenues are up almost one percent, and business license revenues are up more than 10 percent. Building Director Rick Fulmer added that, while building permits normally number around 150 per month this time of the year, the first two weeks of this April saw 804 permits issued, many related to reconstruction after March’s storm.

Mayor Woody Jacobs issued a city proclamation naming April 26 through May 4 as “Frankweiler Visitor Days” in honor of a group from Cullman’s sister city who will be visiting the city next week.

The council approved the following:

  • A request from Water Superintendent Chris Freeman to purchase from the state bid list a Ventrac Rough Cut Mowing Machine with accessories from Coblentz Equipment & Parts Co., Inc. in the budgeted amount of $49,055
  • A request from Waid Harbison of Cullman Parks and Recreation for a special event permit to hold Dinner on First on May 18, 2018 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • A request from Freeman to purchase from the HGAC bid list a pipe bursting machine with accessories from Hammerhead Trenchless in the budgeted amount of $231,176.16.
  • An ordinance to update the City’s building codes and adopt the 2015 International Building Code
  • A resolution to submit the 2019 TAP grant application for the City of Cullman.  This will be an 80/20 grant that will cost the city $160,000 but will give the city $800,000 to upgrade more downtown sidewalks for handicap accessibility.
  • A resolution to approve matching funds for the 2019 TAP grant application by the Cullman County Commission.  The resolution will allow the City to access 80/20 grant funds available to the County, with the City putting up the matching funds.
  • A resolution to amend the position control for the City of Cullman.   

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

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