Cullman City Council honors WildWater staff, amends procedures for public comments

WildWater staff and Cullman Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism board members Nathan Anderson, Kyle Clem, Ashley Dye, Dianne Evans, Aurie Ramirez, Taylor Yarbrough, Rusty Turner, Mark Aderholt and Herbert Arnold (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman City Council on Monday commended Cullman Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism (CPRST) and its WildWater staff for earning the Leading Edge Award from the World Waterpark Association. WildWater is the only publicly owned park on the top six waterparks in the world list and one of only two on the list located in the United States. The other is in Irvine, California.  

More than 40,000 non-Cullman County residents visited WildWater during a 12-week period this summer, increasing tax revenue for the community. 

City residents who wish to speak during the public comments portions of council meetings will now be required to show a valid photo ID, which will be scanned. This procedure will provide City officials with the speaker’s information for follow-ups. 

Council Member Johnny Cook announced that the City’s Hazardous Waste Disposal Day will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 8 a.m.-noon in the WildWater parking lot. It will be free for city residents, and proof of residency, such as a photo identification with current address, is required. 

Ben Harrison, general manager of Cullman Regional Airport, reported that the ribbon was cut on runway 2/20 after a complete refurbishment. The runway can now support the weight of larger and heavier aircraft, which will make Cullman more accessible to existing and potential future industries. Harrison thanked the City and all of the City departments for the team effort during the project.  

CPRST Executive Director Nathan Anderson noted a 35% increase in attendance at this year’s Oktoberfest and said he expects next year to be even larger. Upcoming events include the grand opening of the new skate park, Skate Depot, on Saturday, Nov. 12, at noon. Renowned professional skater Jake Wooten will provide a demo and the party will continue until 3 p.m. The Christmas in Cullman Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting will be Friday, Dec. 2. The tree lighting will take place at Depot Park. Look for more information in a coming article. 

Cullman County’s unemployment rate is the second lowest in the state for September, behind Shelby County.  

The following agenda items were approved: 

  • A special event permit request from Greg Speegle of the Cullman Moose Lodge for their annual turkey shoots every Saturday in November and December starting at 8 a.m. 
  • A special event permit request from Sheila Haynes for a Pray, then Vote event on the courthouse sidewalks on Nov. 7, 2022, from 4-6 p.m., to encourage citizens to pray and vote in the election the following day. 
  • Resolution No. 2023-04 to support the Cullman City Schools ongoing Capital Improvement Plan by contributing $600,000 a year over the next 10 years. Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff reported the district’s growth in academics is attributed to its students, teachers and families. He noted that, during Principal Appreciation Month, he feels that school principals have the hardest but the most rewarding jobs in education. 
Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs, Cullman City Council President Jenny Folsom, Cullman City School Board President Cheryl Harrison, Cullman City Schools Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff, Cullman City Council President Pro-Tem Johnny Cook and Cullman City Councilmen Clint Hollingsworth and Brad Smith (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune) 
  • Ordinance No. 2022-31 to amend the definitions in the zoning ordinance to include dispensing sites for medical cannabis, event venues, gyms and kennels. 
  • Ordinance No. 2023-02 to permitting special events located in the city of Cullman. 

The Cullman City Council meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday of each month at Cullman City Hall. Meetings are open to the public and livestreamed. 

Look for more information on the new ordinances in Saturday’s edition of The Cullman Tribune.  

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