Hanceville Fire Rescue reports record-breaking 2019; council discusses SFW home

Hanceville Assistant Fire Chief Bart Absher addresses the Hanceville City Council Thursday night. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala.- Hanceville Fire Rescue had a historic year as far as the number of calls the department responded to in 2019. Assistant Chief Bart Absher addressed the Hanceville City Council Thursday night, giving the end of year report.

“For 2019, this was the busiest year we have ever had,” he said, “in history, and not just since Chief (Rodger) Green took over.”

Absher reported 967 medical calls, 71 car wrecks, six car fires, 52 structure fires, 31 grass fires, 51 false alarms, 37 mutual aid calls, 114 two or more calls at one time and 105 calls to the Hanceville Jail.

“In August, 132 calls for that month,” he added. “That is the busiest month we have ever had except for after the tornadoes (in 2011). Non-natural disaster, that is the busiest month. So we ended the year with 1,301 calls. Last year and the year prior, we were around 1,150.”

Absher took the opportunity to urge the council to keep the increase and potential growth in mind when making future considerations for Hanceville Fire Rescue.

The council set the date for a public hearing to rezone a property at 413 Hopewell Road to allow local nonprofit Saving Forgotten Warriors (SFW) to provide temporary housing for homeless veterans.

Pam Whitt, financial officer for SFW explained, “It’s a two-bedroom duplex, so four bedrooms total and there should be 3-4 men per bedroom. We are saying 8-12 total. It is temporary housing, 30-60 days. It’s not permanent.”

Whitt added, “We will have a house manager so someone will be there with the veterans 24 hours a day.”

The property is currently zoned R1- single family residential and the Hanceville Planning Commission’s recommendation is to rezone the property R3-high density residential.

The public hearing will be held Feb. 13, 2020 at 6 p.m. at Hanceville City Hall.

Friends of the Festival is beginning the planning for this year’s Hanceville Irish Festival. Nolan Bradford asked the council to waive the vendor fee for the festival scheduled for March 14 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The council approved the request.

The council also passed a resolution to participate in this year’s Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, beginning Friday, Feb. 21, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and ending Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020 at midnight.

The next Hanceville City Council meeting will be held Jan. 23, 2020 at 6 p.m.

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Christy Perry