Cullman City Council commits $6 million to school system capital projects

Members of Cullman High School’s choir entertained the council and audience at Monday’s meeting. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman City Council on Monday evening approved a resolution “to authorize the Mayor to enter into a funding agreement with the Cullman City Board of Education for its system-wide ‘Capital Improvement Plan,’” committing $6 million to be paid in monthly installments over the next 10 years, starting in 2022. 

According to the resolution, the city board “has determined to acquire, construct and equip various public-school capital improvements” at each of the system’s five schools through a capital improvement plan estimated in the resolution at $20 million. 

Council President Jenny Folsom told representatives of the city school board in attendance, “I think that we’ve been working very diligently with all of you for the capital improvement, and it’s going to be a great step forward for many years to come within the school system for all of our schools.” 

Airport improvements 

The council passed a resolution “to condemn avigation (aviation navigation) easements for flight safety at the Cullman Regional Airport in Vinemont.” The action, invoked under eminent domain, will not result in the removal of any land from private owners, but will allow the city to trim trees on properties along the airport’s runway approach, to bring those approaches into compliance with FAA regulations. 

The council also approved a resolution to award a bid to Trinity Electrical Services, Inc. to replace the Automated Weather Observing System at the airport in the amount of $218,600. The system provides continuous reporting of multiple weather conditions, including temperature, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, precipitation and more. The Trinity bid beat out a $281,185 bid from Southeast Site Services, LLC. 

Education property taxes renewed 

The council approved resolution 2021-97 to confirm the levying of property taxes for the Cullman City Board of Education. The vote did not create new taxes, but renewed existing taxes as follows: 

  • “5 mills on all taxable property in the City of Cullman . . . to pay any general obligations incurred by the City of Cullman” 
  • “3 mills on all taxable property in the City of Cullman . . . for educational purposes” 
  • “7½ mills on all taxable property in the City of Cullman . . . for general school purposes” 

Other council business 

The council approved a 10-year tax abatement for Aegis Fence Company which is making a capital investment of $1,390,000 in a new facility in downtown Cullman. 

The council voted to rezone a 10.6 acre parcel of land located on County Road 703 in the city from R-1 residential district to R-2 residential district. According to the developer, Minuteman Construction, the site will house a subdivision of homes in a price range over $300,000. 

The council authorized an Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant application for handicapped accessible sidewalks along Arnold Street Northeast from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue, along 2nd Avenue to Clark Street and along Clark Street to 1st Avenue Northeast. 

The Cullman City Council meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of each month in the Cullman City Hall auditorium. The public is invited to attend. 

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W.C. Mann