Holly Pond pursues infrastructure improvements, declines alcohol review

Finley Circle will be surveyed for future repairs and improvements, including curbs to separate it from the truck parking area at Jack’s. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

HOLLY POND, Ala. – The Holly Pond Town Council on Monday, July 1, voted to pursue infrastructure improvements at the town ball fields, library and Finley Circle, while declining to review a proposal for alcohol sales in the town.

The council voted to order new LED lighting for the softball field at a cost of $65,000. The approval came after the contractor working on the park offered to reduce the amount from the originally quoted $70,000 if the Town ordered the lights now. The improvement is part of a larger project that will eventually include new lights for the baseball and T-ball fields, as well.

Mayor Carla Hart told the council that construction of the fence at the playground should start next week and could be finished within a month. The council chose to place rubber mulch in the playground as a cleaner and longer lasting alternative to natural mulch. Hart also said that she had lined up help to put up nets in the batting cages when the weather cools.

The council approved $6,500 ($6,000 for patching, $500 for painting) for patching potholes and restriping the library parking area. Hart said she received a quote of $7,450 ($6,950 for patching, $500 for painting) for the job, but local pastor Dwight Kidd, attending the meeting, called out from the audience a recommendation of someone who had done similar work at his church. Hart said she would reach out to that person for a quote.

The council also approved the construction of new concrete pads for Dumpsters at the ballpark and town event center.

The council also approved a request from Hart to conduct a survey of Finley Circle on the east side of Jack’s off U.S. Highway 278 to determine the exact location of a 50-foot right of way the Town has there. She said that she recently spoke to a representative of the North Alabama Regional Council of Governments, and hopes to hear in August about a grant to make repairs to Finley Circle and two other roads. Hart added that planned improvements to Finley Circle include the installation of a curb to stop large trucks from using the street to enter the truck parking lot behind Jack’s, since the restaurant’s parking lot includes its own truck entrance.

Alcohol proposal not reviewed

The council declined even to review information packets concerning alcohol sales, delivered to Holly Pond Town Hall prior to the meeting by Ron Stone and distributed to council members at the meeting. The packets reportedly showed the benefits of alcohol tax revenues for other towns, in an effort to promote an ordinance for alcohol sales in Holly Pond. Council members and Town Attorney Dan Willingham pointed out that the State of Alabama’s law regulating alcohol sales requires that a municipality have at least 1,000 residents even to hold a referendum on alcohol sales, and that 30% of those residents would have to sign a petition to hold the referendum. The 2020 federal census showed only 851 people living in Holly Pond. Based on the population issue, talk of alcohol sales was declared a “non-starter,” and council members passed their packets back to Hart.

The Holly Pond Town Council meets on the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m. in the conference room at the Guy Hunt Library. The public is invited to attend.

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