By Benjamin Bullard
The Cullman Times
GOOD HOPE —
Add Good Hope to the growing list of local municipalities able to offer residents access to new community storm shelters.
The city received word last week that its application for a grant to fund the installation of two shelters had been granted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). At its first meeting on Nov. 5, the city council agreed to let bids on the project, and authorized mayor Corey Harbison to sign off on all paperwork relating to their construction.
Expected to cost approximately $200,000, the two shelters will be placed on municipal land. One will be located at the city hall complex; the other at the Good Hope family park. The city must match 25 percent of the FEMA funds, either through actual dollars or by providing in-kind work to move the project to completion.
Until a bid has been awarded — likely at the council’s first December meeting — the precise cost won’t be known. Harbison said he expects the city’s matching contribution to fall between $50,000 and $60,000.
“Getting these grants was a good start for us,: said Harbison. “We applied last Spring, and the Cullman County Economic Development Office really helped us through the process. I’m not speaking for the council, but eventually it would be really nice to have other shelters; to be able to spread them throughout the city so that there’s one within a minute’s drive of every Good Hope resident. It could be more costly, because we’d probably have to acquire the property to do that many, but we are really happy about getting these first two.”
Like similar shelters recently installed at Garden City and Hanceville, Good Hope’s storm shelters are designed to withstand tornado conditions and will be equipped with rest rooms, electricity and backup generator power.
Harbison said he’s hopeful the new shelters — which can each accommodate 100 people — can be online and ready to use in time for the first bout of severe weather next Spring.
Benjamin Bullard can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 734-2131 ext. 270.