Garden City revises fire dues, declares local state of emergency

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Garden City Volunteer Fire Department Chief James Johnson was presented with a special fire chief’s helmet from Garden City VFD members at the Garden City Town Council meeting Monday evening. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

GARDEN CITY, Ala. – The Garden City Town Council on Monday night voted to revise and raise fire dues from $3 (within town limits) and $5 (outside town limits) to $5 (within town limits) and $10 (outside town limits). The dues are billed through the Cullman Electric Cooperative for residential and business customers.

Garden City Mayor Tim Eskew noted on the new dues, “A rough $1,000 would be added to the fire department’s income.”

In response to the State of Emergency proclamations made by Gov. Kay Ivey the Cullman County Commission, Garden City proclaimed a local state of emergency due to COVID-19.

Th proclamation waives procedures and formalities the council would have to take for:

  • Performance of public work and taking whatever prudent action in necessary to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the community
  • Entering into contracts.
  • Incurring obligations.
  • Employment of temporary workers.
  • Utilization of volunteer workers.
  • Rental of equipment.
  • Acquisition and distribution, with or without compensation, of supplies, materials and facilities.
  • Appropriation of expenditure of public funds.

 

In new business, the council voted to allow Eskew to get a price on maintenance and renovation work for the roof of Garden City Town Hall.

The council also discussed mowing, with Eskew reporting the Town’s John Deere tractor is “showing a loss of power.” The council discussed two options: hiring a part-time employee (since former part-time employee Eddie Reid, who handled up to 20 hours of mowing retired) to help spread the workload and hours of usage on the mowers and equipment or having full-time employees Eric Allred, Tyler Legg and Mitchell Black take over the mowing and purchase an estimated $12,000 mower. The council tabled the discussion until next month.

Eskew also suggested purchasing a new generator. He said the current generator had problems on Primary Election night.

Eskew also praised all those involved with the town’s Census Day event which happened over the weekend, saying, “I’m proud of you!”

Cullman Economic Development Agency’s Susan Eller reported to The Tribune, “We had a great turnout and we signed up 158 people at Garden City Saturday!”

With no other business, the Garden City Volunteer Fire Department, with permission from the council, presented Garden City VFD Chief James Johnson with a special chief’s helmet with a golden eagle.

The council praised Johnson for all he’s done, with Mayor Pro-Tempore Scott Arnold saying, “We appreciate you, thank you, you’re doing an excellent job.”

During the council’s work session, Eskew provided an update on the Cullman County Board of Education transferring the property and land of Garden City Elementary School to the Town.

Eskew shared, “It’s basically turned over, except we’re waiting on the wheels of Montgomery to turn.”

Eskew said the Town’s insurance carrier said it will cost $4,000 a year for liability insurance for the building. The Town has not decided what it will use the building for once acquired. No action was taken on the matter.

The Garden City Town Council meets on the third Monday of each month. The next meeting will be April 20, 2020 at Garden City Town Hall at 6 p.m.

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