By Lauren Estes
The Cullman Times
WEST POINT —
Cullman County mayors and area dignitaries shared about their municipalities’ grant awards, road projects and recent events at a Tuesday meeting.
The group meets each month at a different designated town hall, this time in West Point, and share a breakfast while discussing projects and events coming to each town. Baileyton Mayor Johnny Dyar is president of the mayor’s group and said it’s a way for each aspect of Cullman County to be represented and talk about both positive and negative things in the individual communities.
“It’s a good way to get everyone together and see what is going on in all corners of the county,” Dyar said. “It holds us accountable and lets us look to the things that are coming and also helps us to encourage each other. We all love these communities; We are a blessed county.”
Alongside the area mayors, the Cullman County Commission, Cullman County Board of Education, and Cullman County Economic Development were each represented.
Cullman County Board of Education Superintendent Billy Coleman shared the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office is making an impact in the county schools with their partnership in having school resource officers.
“Having the sheriff’s deputies in the schools really bring a positive relationship between law enforcement and the kids,” Coleman said. “It’s really helped the students understand these are not people to fear, but to trust. We’re very happy having the officers in the schools.”
CCED representative Ashley Graves said the splash pad project coming to Sportsman’s Lake has now been bid out.
“We recently received a $4,000 donation and had donations from Nissan and Chrysler,” Graves said. “The ADECA grant we received is for $50,000 and that will coincide with the project.”
Cullman County Commission Chairman Kenneth Walker added to Graves’ comments saying the splash pad itself will be 1,800 square feet, which is larger than the current splash pad at Heritage Park, and they have cut the budget down by nearly $15,000 after initially being over-budget on the project.
The group plans to have a candidate to recommend for its yearly Lucille Glain Award at their January meeting.
Dyar reported over 200 kids visited their annual Christmas party event last Saturday to take pictures with Santa Claus.
The town worked on a five-to-six year project consisting of cutting 518 trees, which was recently wrapped up by the community.
“The trees were removed from over 40 acres of land in their local park for safety reasons, which would allow children to be seen playing from anywhere in the park by their parents,” Dyar said.
The town saw over 300 people at its annual Christmas parade and Christmas in the park event on Saturday, even with the dreary weather.
Mayor Corey Harbison said several projects the council has been working on this year are wrapping up.
“Workers finished digging the pond which will be in our park area,” Harbison said. “It still needs to be filled with water and it will then accompany the walking trail out there.
Harbison said the sewer line extension project funded by an ADECA grant is nearly completed after eight months of steady work. The $150,000 grant was received in April to add sewer lines which weren’t any existing behind County Road 222 for the extension project. A gravity line and pressure pump station was also added so it would be available if new businesses come to the area upon the implementation of the Interstate 65 interchange.
Renovations were recently completed at the Guy Hunt Memorial Park following the town council’s push to add new light fixtures to create better nighttime visibility. Mayor Herman Nail said this is only one step of the rehabilitation process coming to the park.
“The next plan is to re-pave the concrete in the area,” Nail said. “It hasn’t been paved in 20 years.”
Nail also mentioned the town council is having a meeting January 8, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. which will host dignitaries to announce a special project Holly Pond is taking on that will benefit the community, but couldn’t yet comment on it.
Mayor Melba Patton said the foundation and walls to the sports complex are up and running and the final stages of the new additives to the Vinemont recreational center are nearly complete. The funding for the project came from several years of various donations and grants to finish the $1.3 million project.
“The walls to the sportsplex are being put up and we’re excited about everything finishing up,” Patton said.
Lauren Estes can be reached at email@example.com or 256-734-2131, ext. 137.