April 25, 2024


Amazing design, nonpareil

Pell City approves 2022 capital improvement budget | News


PELL CITY — The Pell City Council has approved a $5.4 million dollar capital improvements plan for fiscal year 2022.

During its regular meeting Monday the council approved the plan which included $5,408,612.08 for various requests from the city’s departments. The amount also includes the $2.7 million paving project the city approved in December along with several other requests the city has previously approved.

 This includes $496,179 for a new Sutphen Fire Truck to replace the fire department engine 3, which the council approved last July, a $140,000 to the county for parking improvements next to city hall and $33,000 for zero-turn lawn mowers for the street department and parks and recreation department.  

The new request focused mainly on replacing equipment and fleet renewal, with the understanding from both the council and department heads that it may take time to get the vehicles they need because of continued disruptions in the auto industry. 

The department with the largest approved amount for request was parks and recreation, when you take out the pre-approved mowers and paving plan out of the street department list. Discounting the $60,000 for new mower the council had already approved, parks and rec was approved $830,000 out of its original request list, the vast majority of that being $700,000 for the rebuilding of Kids Kastle in Lakeside Park. The council previously approved upgrading and expanding the playground in February.

Parks and Rec Director Bubba Edge also received $100,000 refurbishing the 19th street basketball courts. He said the plan is to use the space to create six pickleball courts to help meet popular demand for the sport in the city while also creating a refurbished basketball court.

Edge’s original requests also originally included $85,000 for a dog park and $175,000.00 for a new restroom and pavilion at the 19th street property. He said the dog park is something he has had several residents mention to him and City Manager Brian Muenger had suggested a spot at 19th street.

“It’s something that a lot of residents have been hitting me up with for the last year, we don’t have a dog park in the city,” Edge said. 

Edge said the bathroom facility would basically be to service the extra people that would be attracted by the courts and dog park, as the 19th Street Rec Center is often rented out to events and may not be able to fill that need for both renters and park goers.

Edge said he feels the new courts and dog park would ultimately complement the 19th street park very well as it already has a playground. 

“In my eyes, what I have to look for when we bring something to an area, moms walking a dog, what is there for the kid to do,” he said. “Now the kid can go over here and play on the playground, while mom’s walking the dog or whatever. It’s going to draw more people to the area when you have multiple things for somebody to do.”

Council President Jud Alverson said he didn’t want to completely punt the dog park and bathrooms but wanted to at least table them for a while to give them a better look. He said after the meeting that he would feel better about the dog park idea after he and the council can discuss the liability of running such a facility with the city attorney as a precaution.

“I think the dog park is something we want to approve,” he said. “We need to talk to the city attorney and just have a better understanding. It’s not that anyone who is an elected official does not want a dog park, we just need to make sure we are going about it the right way if we are going to allocate the taxpayers money.”

The final part of the parks and rec CIP budget was $30,000 for dumpster enclosures. 

The police department. allocated $390,295 with all the money going towards fleet renewal. The allocations included two Ford F-150s which are immediately available and eight Chevrolet Tahoes, the city’s usual patrol vehicle, that will be delivered in March 2023. 

When not including the pre-approved items the street department’s allocation came in at $622,250, with the largest expense being a $194,600 tractor with a bush axe. The allocation also included two new trucks, the replacement of six traffic signal cabinets and controllers on Cogswell Avenue, a 8×20 trailer, city wide drainage repair, the replacement of the Parkway East rail crossing and the department’s engineering costs. 

The council also approved $67,388 for new trucks for code enforcement and $69,500 for the fire department to replace the battalion 1 vehicle and upgrade the living quarters in station 1.

Alverson said he felt the CIP budget was ultimately at a good place.

“Obviously you have to reinvest in your infrastructure,” he said. “We had a robust fiscal year last year and it’s time to take some of that money and put it right back into the city. Into equipment, into infrastructure, into what the department heads feel is their highest and greatest need.” 



Source link