CULLMAN, Ala. – At the Cullman County Commission meeting Tuesday evening, Commissioner Garry Marchman, who recently announced he would be rerunning for his current position, stated, “One of the biggest reasons I’m running, because I had really considered not running, but we are changing over to a five-man commission, and I think we are gonna need some experience in place that will help us make this transformation and help us make good decisions.” Commissioner Kerry Watson will also be rerunning for his position.
The commission approved raising the dollar limit of the annual fireworks show from “not to exceed $25,000” to “not to exceed $32,000” due to increased shipping cost. Parks and Recreation director Doug Davenport stated, “If we wanted the same show we had last year, it’s gonna cost us $32,000 or we will have to make the show smaller. In the past, it was about $1000 a min, right now the price is about $1280 a min.”
The commission approved the request from Cullman VFW to support local veterans with financial support of $12,000 to obtain the SGB shot for PTSD therapy. This request was made by Colonel Ken Brown who said, “We know for a fact over the last two years of the program that we prevented 12 suicides here in the local area in Cullman County and we’ve changed a lot of lives…We’ve asked Congress to mandate that the VA pay for this. Nothing’s happening in Congress as you all know because of the gridlock up there. Senator Gudger has gone to legislature and gotten some money for this program, but it’s for a statewide effort and not just for Cullman County, so we are still having to take care of our own here.”
The council ratified the tax abatement for Inland Buildings construction company, owned by Schulte Building Systems in the amount of $218,396 for the expansion of the building on Highway 31. This expansion would create about 50 new jobs with a total payroll of 2.5 million.
The tax abatement for Tyson Farms Inc in the amount of $9,532,875 was approved. The abatement is for the rebuilding of the second plant which burned down last year on a new piece of property, with the hope that it will help retain hundreds of jobs.
A public hearing was set for the next meeting on February 15 for a citizen who filed a petition asking for a portion of County Road 630 to be vacated so that the citizen could build a home there. The portion is currently not in use.
In other business:
- The North Alabama Highway Safety Office Agreement was ratified. The agreement is the current agreement for federal funding for traffic and seatbelt enforcement to help offset overtime for law enforcement.
- The resolution to adopt the United States Congressional Districts Official Map and legal description was approved.
- The resolution to adopt the Alabama House of Representatives Map and legal description was approved.
- The resolution to adopt the Alabama State School Board/State Board of Education District Official map and legal description was also approved.
- The School Board requested the existing one-half cent sales tax for Cullman City Schools be extended in order for them to secure a loan. The tax will continue to be collected and set to the school board.
- Chairman Clemons was authorized to sign a resolution for the treatment of the standard allowance for revenue replacement from the County’s American Rescue Plan Act Fiscal Recovery Funds.
- JMR+H were awarded the Architectural and Engineering Services for the Courthouse Ventilation project.
- The commission renewed the Catastrophic Inmate Medical Insurance with Hunt Insurance in the amount of $72,647.28.
- The purchase of two 95 PTO Massey Ferguson tractors from a state bid at $63,495.50 each for a total of $126,991 for the Road Department was approved, as well as the purchase of two Land Pride PTO rotary mowers from Sourcewell Cooperative at $38,321.32 each for a total of $76,462.64 for the Road Department.
- Cullman High School was authorized to use the south parking lot of the Courthouse on February 28, 2022, and March 24, 2022 from 3:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. for Swamp John’s.
- They also authorized payment of annual CRS liability insurance premium in the amount of $429,806.06
- The Chairman was authorized to sign the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Recreational Trails Program Contract Agreement, the Recreational Trails Program Contract of Professional Services Project for Stony Lonesome OHV Park, and the Recreational Trails Program Contract of Professional Services Project for Stony Lonesome OHV Park.
- The commissioners authorized appropriation for $4,000 to Cullman Elks Veterans Day Committee from tourism fund to support tourism efforts. The money goes toward the annual Veterans Day event.
The next Commission Work Session will be Tuesday, February 15, 2022, at 4:00 p.m., with the Commission Meeting following at 6:00 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room.
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