Garden City sets new fire dues, votes to start town hall roof work

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The Garden City Town Council practiced social distancing at its May council meeting Monday evening. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

GARDEN CITY, Ala. – The Garden City Town Council on Monday night officially set the new fire dues it voted on at its March meeting. The dues, billed to customers through the Cullman Electric Cooperative are now $5 for residents and businesses within town limits (up from $3) and $10 for residents and businesses outside town limits (up from $5).

In other business, the council accepted a bid of $15,690 for materials and labor from Keith Whitley Construction and Roofing to negate a water leakage problem at town hall. The council voted to pay $9,555 after the Town’s insurance paid for a portion of the bill. Mayor Tim Eskew noted the job with Whitley will cover “everything but concrete and gutters.”

Said Eskew, “What we’re doing is we’re changing the roof. We’re putting actually a porch on it, out about a 10-foot section in front of the building. We’re trying to get rid of a roof leak problem. Over the years it’s been tracking water behind a false wall and we’re extending the roof level to get the water off the building.”

The council voted to table a flood damage prevention ordinance it received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Council members said they want to get more information and see if any land within town limits is affected by flood damage and want to obtain maps to answer the question.

The council also voted to purchase a four-wheel drive utility cab Kubota tractor for $30,000.

Members reviewed Garden City’s Municipal Water Pollution Prevention (MWPP) report and accepted a resolution stating so.

The council then voted to adopt an ordinance changing the water rates inside and outside town limits. The council originally voted to change the water rates at its Sept. 16, 2019 meeting. At that meeting, Eskew shared a letter from the Blount County Water Authority saying its operating costs were increasing. The council voted to raise the rates from $21 per 2,000 gallons to $22 per 2,000 gallons.

Garden City will participate in the annual Back to School Sales Tax Holiday July 17 -19, 2020.

Garden City Volunteer Fire Department Chief James Johnson told the council his department recently participated in training with the Hanceville Fire Department. He said once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, the department will have three new EMTs.

Cullman County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jeff Rainwater provided his township deputy report, listing 140 incidents from Nov. 12, 2019 until May 11, 2020.

Garden City Mayor Pro-Tempore Scott Arnold asked Rainwater if he could work with the Town on certain hours Rainwater isn’t covering, to which Rainwater responded, “I’m willing to work with you.”

The Garden City Freedom Celebration, as of right now, is still on for the last Sunday in June.

Arnold said of the event, “That’s a big thing for this town.”

The Garden City Town Council meets the third Monday of each month. The next regularly scheduled meeting is June 15 at 6 p.m.

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Maggie Darnell

maggie@cullmantribune.com