Commission bids farewell to Walker, talks Reliance Worldwide project

Stanley Kennedy from the Cullman Economic Development Agency addresses the Cullman County Commission Thursday morning. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman County Commission met Thursday morning, for the last time with Chairman Kenneth Walker at the helm.

Commissioner Kerry Watson said to Walker, “I would just like to tell the chairman, I’ve enjoyed working with you over the past few years, and I am proud of the accomplishments we have made. I hope you have a great future.”

“It’s been a good ride!” said Walker. “It’s been good working for you.”

Chairman-Elect Jeff Clemons will take office next week.

The commission ratified the City of Cullman’s tax abatement for Project York/Reliance Worldwide.

Stanley Kennedy with the Cullman Economic Development Agency spoke of the economic impact the $24.25 million project will bring to Cullman County, saying, “This abatement is worth $1.6 million over a 10-year period. From this project you will get 130 jobs averaging $18 an hour. You will create a $1.2-$1.3 million in educational tax revenues over that same 10-year period, which will go to Cullman area schools.”

He said the project is also projected to generate $145,000 in additional tax revenue per year.

The new 300,000-square-foot distribution center will be located on an 81-acre site off Cherokee Avenue in southwest Cullman. The new distribution center will add 50 new jobs, while an expansion of Reliance Worldwide’s facility in Cullman’s Industrial Park II will add 80 new manufacturing jobs, bringing the company’s local workforce to more than 400.

In other business, the commission:

  • Passed Resolution 2020-44 to hire outside counsel to represent the Cullman County Board of Equalization
  • Authorized Revenue Commissioner Barry Willingham to hire a real estate appraiser
  • Authorized Walker and Willingham to sign an agreement with Eagleview Imaging
  • Authorized Walker to sign a termination agreement to terminate a hangar lease agreement at the Cullman Regional Airport
  • Authorized payment to the City of Hanceville for Mud Creek cleanup in the amount of $15,000
  • Ratified a payment to Comfort Systems UA for boiler repairs at the Cullman County Detention Center for $10,243
  • Approved the purchase of a IMC3500 copier under the State of Alabama bid contract in the amount of $6,006 from Office Equipment Company for the Road Department
  • Approved paying off the Economic Development building in the amount of $136,424.03
  • Approved hiring outside counsel for filing CARES Act reimbursements
  • Approved letting bid for the replacement of the roof at the Cullman County Garage
  • Approved the hiring of Aggreko to install chiller electrical for $6,500
  • Authorized Director of Safety to request and receive loss data history records from the County’s insurance carriers
  • Approved the purchase of a portable air compressor for the Water Department from Cowin Equipment Company, Inc. in the amount of $19,975.88
  • Authorized Park Director to submit grant for playground equipment
  • Approved the purchase of a motor grader from ADECA for the Road Department in the amount of $10,000
  • Approved appropriation of $8,978.71 to Cullman EMS and Cullman County Fire Communications Center for upgrades to radio console
  • Approved the surplus of a 1990 Altec Aerial Device from engineering and transfer to Sportsman Lake Park
  • Approved the surplus of a 1991 Hummer from engineering to Stony Lonesome
  • Approved and recognized that new office furnishings for Watson’s office were paid out of pocket by Watson, including: four photography canvas, portrait and frame for map and oak office desk
  • Approved proposed plat Clear Creek Cove subdivision Phase 2- a major subdivision consisting of 45 lots located in District 1 on County Road 813
  • Approved proposed plat Lenard Circle subdivision Phase 1- a major subdivision consisting of 12 lots located in District 1 at the intersection of Swafford Road Southwest and Logan Avenue Southwest


The following board appointments were approved:

  • Walker appointed Burma Graves to the Cullman County Center for the Developmentally Disabled Board for a six-year term expiring 9/11/2026
  • Walker appointed Blake West to the Department of Human Resources Board, replacing Terry McGill, for a six-year term expiring 5/15/2026
  • Walker reappointed Jimmy Knight to the Duck River Reservoir Oversight Board for a three-year term expiring 9/11/2023
  • Walker appointed Phillip Hicks to the Walter Water Authority Board, replacing Max Doty, for a six-year term expiring 3/01/2026
  • Watson reappointed TJ Franey to the Department of Human Resources Board for a six-year term expiring 5/15/2026
  • The commission reappointed Doug Davenport to the North Alabama Tourism Association for a two-year term expiring 3/30/2022


The next commission meeting will be Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020 at 8 a.m. in the commission meeting room.

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Christy Perry