Cullman Gymnastics and Cheer Academy’s Xtreme Allstars cheerleading team was recognized for a national championship and CGCA’s first undefeated competition season. (W.C. Mann for The Tribune)
CULLMAN – With Memorial Day quickly approaching, the Cullman City Council held an early second May meeting Monday evening.
Council Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Committee Chairman Clint Hollingsworth started by leading the council in recognition of Cullman Gymnastics and Cheer Academy’s Xtreme Allstars cheerleading team, which won a national championship in the U.S. Finals Cheer and Dance competition in Pensacola on Apr. 14-15. According to Cullman Parks and Recreation Director Nathan Anderson, this was the first Xtreme Allstar team in CGCA history to enjoy an undefeated season and was the only public team competing in a private gym division at the national tournament. The team is coached by Ashley Wilbanks, Abbie Wallace and Amy Wallace. Hollingsworth presented the team a resolution of congratulations on behalf of the City.
The councilman also presented a resolution to the Cullman County 4-H Shotgun Club for its recent first-place finish in the State 4-H Shooting Competition April 13-14 in skeet, trap and sporting clays. The team will represent Cullman and Alabama in the 2018 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships in Nebraska, June 25-29. Members include Griffin Barksdale, Cole Herfurth, Ezra Burk and Blake Arrington and coaches James Conway, Willy Hendrix, Greg Barksdale, Hayden Faulk, Bobby Barrett and David Benefield.
Following the sports recognitions, Councilman Andy Page, Police Chief Kenny Culpepper and Assistant Police Chief Craig Montgomery presented two Cullman Police officers with service pins. Patrol Officer Adam Walker, who works on day shift patrol and has been active in the Cullman County Special Needs Track and Field Day, received his 10-year pin. Lake Patrol Officer and department helicopter pilot Matt Dean was recognized for 15 years of service to the city, after 10 years of state service. Montgomery reported that Dean has continued in his duties even while undergoing treatment for cancer, and that his treatment has yielded positive results.
Ordinance concerning deteriorating or unsafe properties in the city
The council considered, then tabled, Ordinance No. 2018-27 to address unsafe and dangerous structures located in the city limits of Cullman. Benjamin Goldman, who drew up the document, addressed the council about the ordinance, which covers City action in numerous instances, including (among others) buildings:
- with load-bearing walls or structures overloaded, buckled, or leaning
- with significant deterioration even in non-structural areas
- damaged by disaster, vandalism, or abandonment
- infested with vermin
- with improper ventilation or sanitation
- lacking sufficient emergency exits
- containing electrical or other equipment operating in an unsafe condition
The ordinance sets forth the actions that can be taken when such conditions are found, including repair, relocation or demolition of buildings at the City’s expense with a tax lien being placed on the land to reimburse City costs. When necessary, according to Goldman, the City will be able to foreclose on the lien. He explained that the goal is to get voluntary compliance from property owners, so that the City has to take no action beyond notification.
The ordinance also sets forth a detailed procedure governing how municipal officials are to deal with such properties and their owners. When the City Planning Commission voted last week to recommend the ordinance, City Building and Planning Director Rick Fulmer told the Tribune that the extensive regulations create a series of checks and balances to protect both City officials and property owners and to prevent abuse of the ordinance’s policies by anyone on either side.
On the requests of council members Jenny Folsom and Hollingsworth, the motion to adopt was tabled for more study.
The council suspended the rules of procedure to approve Ordinance No. 2018-28 to annex property owned by Kenny Culpepper located at 118 County Road 463 into the city limits of Cullman as AG-1 Agricultural District. This ordinance received a favorable recommendation from the City of Cullman Planning Commission.
The council also read Ordinance No. 2018-29 to annex property owned by Minuteman Construction located at County Road 702 in the city limits of Cullman as R-2 Residential District. This ordinance received a favorable recommendation from the City of Cullman Planning Commission. The council did not take action on this ordinance, leaving it until the next meeting.
Other council business
The council approved the following resolutions:
- Resolution No. 2018-52 to award the bid for traffic signal installation on US Highway 31 near the old Dodge dealership to the lowest responsible bidder, Shoals Electric Co., Inc., in the budgeted amount of $136,000. Stone Electric Co., Inc. of Birmingham was the only other bidder, with a bid of $156,548.10.
- Resolution No. 2018-53 to extend, for one additional year, the hot mix and cold mix (R-01746) and hot lay mix (R-01745) bids which were awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, Good Hope Contracting, Inc. Street Superintendent Scott Talley recommended extending the current bids with Good Hope Contracting until May 23, 2019, instead of putting the contracts up for new bids. According to City Clerk Wesley Moore, the contract will have to be rebid next year.
- Resolution No. 2018-54 to levy the 2018-2019 Ad Valorem Taxes in the City of Cullman. The taxes will be levied as follows:
1. A tax at the rate of 5 mills on all taxable property in the City of Cullman, Alabama, as assessed for state taxes, is hereby levied, pursuant to authority of Section 216 of the Constitution of Alabama to pay any general obligations incurred by the City of Cullman, Alabama.
2. A tax at the rate of 3 mills on all taxable property in the City of Cullman, Alabama, as assessed for state taxes, is hereby levied for educational purposes, pursuant to authority of Section 216 of the Constitution of Alabama and an election held in the City of Cullman as required.
3. A tax at the rate of 7½ mills on all taxable property in the City of Cullman, Alabama, as assessed for state taxes, is hereby levied for general school purposes, pursuant to authority of Section 56 of the Constitution of Alabama and an election held in the City of Cullman as required.
- Resolution No. 2018-55 to surplus property (equipment, tools, etc.) owned by the City of Cullman that is no longer needed for public or municipal purposes.
The council had a first reading of Ordinance 2018-30 to amend Ordinance No. 2015-23 establishing officers of the City of Cullman. This ordinance would establish the office of director of the City’s new Technology Village. The council will consider the measure at the next meeting and may be presented a candidate at that time.
The council also reappointed Michael Sullins to the CCTV Board, and reappointed Rusty Turner and Mark Aderholt to the Parks and Recreation Board.
Parks and rec updates
When Hollingsworth opened the floor to Nathan Anderson, Anderson announced that this Friday’s Dinner on First event may be relocated due to bad weather to the Cullman Warehouse on Fifth Street near the civic center, where it was held last year. A final decision on location should be made by Tuesday evening.
Anderson also gave a quick summary of this year’s Strawberry Festival, noting that sales set records for farmers, food vendors and craft vendors. He reported that two years ago, 900 gallons of strawberries were sold and last year saw an increase to 1,300 gallons. At this year’s festival, farmers had to go back home and get more strawberries as they sold out, resulting in a final total of 2,800 gallons of strawberries sold.
The Cullman City Council usually 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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