Holly Pond council hears school AC concerns, talks temporary replacement worker


J.B. Williams proposed a plan to get air conditioning for the school gyms. (Heather Mann for The Tribune)

HOLLY POND – The June meeting of the Holly Pond Town Council opened with public comments regarding the lack of air conditioning in the middle and high school gyms.

J.B. Williams and his wife, who have a granddaughter at Holly Pond who recently graduated kindergarten, addressed the council. They said their granddaughter’s class had several performance programs throughout the year that took place in those gyms. They noticed that both gyms had large fans to help circulate air, but there was no guarantee that the air would be cool – especially in the heat of May or August. With average temperatures in those months being over 80 and 90 degrees, the Williamses expressed concern about the effect the heat could have on students who must spend long amounts of time in the gyms – whether in P.E. classes, school assemblies or indoor team practices.

To help, J.B. Williams offered an idea to the council: he would do all the leg work required – getting price estimates, talking to donors, getting the community involved – if the council would commit to helping the participants as needed. While the council did agree that the gyms could get unbearably hot, it pointed Mr. Williams in the direction of Heath Albright, the Cullman County Board of Education representative for Holly Pond. The council suggested that if the Williamses wanted to apply for a Cullman County Community Development Commission (CCCDC) grant to fund the AC, the application would have to come from the CCBOE itself due to the nature of the project. 

Other public comments requested a stop sign to be placed at the junction of Meadow Drive and Lakeview Drive; the speaker’s daughter said she often has people almost end up in her yard because they drive so fast.

Council member reports

Carla Hart: There are several lights out that have been tagged – one on U.S. Highway 278, one at the red light (for which the state is responsible) and a large square light at the ball park, among others. There are also some roads and areas that could use some additional lights, like Blountsville Road and Cemetery Road. Most of the roads that are scheduled for paving have already been patched except for Daniel Road, and the sides of the road need to be mowed.

Gladys Wisener: A problem was reported with a water pump station, but the problem may have already been fixed. 

Lou Thomas: There has been a request for the Civitan Club to plant a dogwood tree in the park in memory of a person who frequented the park’s walking track. The council discussed the protocols around making that kind of change to a city park, and ultimately voted to allow the tree.

Michelle Bell: A recent tournament at the ball fields (overflow from Heritage Park, not hosted by the town itself) had around 50 teams show up, and the guests gave very good feedback about the upkeep of the fields and scoreboards. The Town received the profits from the concessions, but there was some confusion over how much – if any – money from the gate fees went to the Town also. Holly Pond will host its own tournament in the second or third week of June.

In new business:

– The Day in the Park vintage sale from last year will be held again this fall. Since the council wants to honor important figures from the area for the Alabama Bicentennial celebration, it plans to honor the chosen person at the Day in the Park.

– The council passed a motion to give a commercial sewer license to a pair of houses sharing the same line.  

– Twelve weeks of family medical leave was approved for a town employee, and the council heavily discussed pay for his replacement. Some council members were against paying the replacement the same as the original worker (who had been working for the town for over 15 years), and one proposed paying him $9.25/hour as a compromise. However, a brief conversation with Mayor Bill Oliver (who was out of town) revealed that he had already told the temporary worker he’d be paid $12/hour, which the council was unaware of. It decided to keep the pay as-is until the next council meeting, where it will be put back up for negotiation.

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