Holly Pond purchases land for future projects

(Left to right) Holly Pond Councilman Paul Brown, Mayor Bill Oliver and Councilwoman Lou Thomas are seen at Monday evening’s meeting. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

HOLLY POND, Ala. – The Holly Pond Town Council at its April meeting voted to purchase approximately 13.2 acres of land across from the Guy Hunt Library on Lions Park Road, adjacent to the town’s ball field to Holly Pond Cemetery on Cemetery Road.

Holly Pond Mayor Bill Oliver said the land will be used potentially for an expansion of the park, a new senior center and even a new storm shelter. The, valued at $150,000 and dubbed ‘The Keeton Property,’ is owned by local residents, brother and sister, Greg Keeton and Jan Pearson.

Said Oliver, “The land, we began a discussion on it in 2017; it wasn’t necessarily that particular land we discussed, but we were looking for a place to put a senior building and there was some land that was good, but we wanted to make sure our seniors could use it, too. This land is the perfect location. It’s been a lengthy process with the owners.”

Oliver said Traditions Bank, with which Holly Pond has two loans, offered to consolidate the loans with a new loan of $150,000 for the purchase of the land, payable over 12 years. The Town pays $2,475 a month for its current loans.

The Town’s current loans were for what Oliver said were the previous council’s $150,000 purchase of the land and building where antique store The Middle of Nowhere is located- the business itself is owned by residents Wayne White and Robin Yates. Oliver said the town rents the building to White and Yates. The other loan was for $59,000 for installation and construction of concession stands at the town’s ball park.

He explained, “Roughly we’re going to refinance the two old loans, plus this one, and combine them. Our monthly payment, we extended it out to 12 years, is less than $10 a month difference.”

Oliver said the new payment under the new loan will be an estimated $2,525 monthly.

“About a $50 dollar difference,” Oliver said.

Oliver said Cullman County Economic Development is ready to start paperwork on acquiring grants for the potential new senior center.

The council voted to purchase the land and consolidate the loans.

In other business, the council announced the town’s Census Day, planned for April 25, and the PALs clean-up day, have been postponed until further notice.

The council also voted to opt out of the Emergency Federal Family Medical Leave Act and Pay and Sick Leave Act, as the Town only has two employees, with Oliver saying, “We can’t shut the Town down.”

The council voted to purchase a lift truck for $9,500 from the Cullman Electric Cooperative, which will enable the Town to do its own work with putting up lights or high branch cutting.

Oliver also notified the council that the Town again received the President’s Risk Management Award from the Alabama League of Municipalities. The award recognizes the efforts and accomplishments in risk management and loss control activities. The President’s Award is given to those municipalities which have been in the top 5% for five years.

Oliver also discussed continued emergency preparations due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

He shared:

  • The Town is trying to acquire hand sanitizer.
  • The Town has acquired gloves and Lysol for its employees.
  • Holly Pond Town Hall is closed, but you still call during business hours.
  • The Town can still do maintenance work such as mowing and spraying.
  • The Town will be more frugal with purchases.

Oliver said, “We’re trying to get through this just like everyone else is trying to get through this.”

The Holly Pond Town Council meets the first Monday of each month. The next regularly scheduled council meeting is May 4 at 7 p.m. at the Guy Hunt Library.

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Maggie Darnell