By Tiffeny Owens
The Cullman Times
The Cullman County Commission awarded a Hanceville construction company the $164,000 bid last week to build a splash pad at Sportsman Lake Park.
Powe General Contracting was one of three companies that bid on the project that will feature 10-to-12 water sprays, including characters like frogs, a snail and fish. The attraction will provide a place for children and families to cool off on hot days and will be fully accessible to people with disabilities.
Powe was the low-bidder with $179,042.77, however the county parks and recreation department decided to nix a $16,000 canopy on the project, bringing the total cost down to $163,717.28. Parks and recreation plans to do some in-kind work on the project to keep costs down as well, officials said.
The county hopes to have the splash pad ready by Memorial Day weekend, with construction expected to take two months or so to complete.
The project is being funded through a combination of grants, business sponsorships and county funds. The county received a $50,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant in October 2012 through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA). The ADECA grant requires a 50-50 match, so the county will match that with $50,000 of its money or in-kind work.
It also has received $41,750 in donations. The Cullman County Community Development Commission awarded the project a $25,000 grant, and Rusken Packaging in Cullman has put up $12,000 to sponsor the main water feature. Walmart has donated $4,000 and Cullman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram $750 to sponsor one of the benches for the project, officials said.
The Cullman County Commission conducted other business at its Jan. 14 meeting :
* Approved minutes from Dec. 23 meeting, appropriations, expenditures, requisitions and all journal entries to be posted.
* Held public hearing and approved vacation of Old Buck Pond Road in the Berlin community.
* Approved catastrophic inmate medical insurance policy with Hunt Insurance Group which will cover any medical expenses exceeding $10,000 for inmates held at the Cullman County Detention Center. The annual premium is $70,000.
* Authorized Chairman Kenneth Walker to sign hazard mitigation grant for community safe rooms, replacing former chairman James Graves as authorized signer.
* Renewed participation in the Association of County Commissions of Alabama’s liability fund for 2015 through 2017. The 2014 premium will be $429,349. By participating in the ACCA program, the county will see a total savings of $209,466.64.
* Authorized Walker to sign ACCA liability self-insurance fund participation agreement.
* Authorized Walker to sign 2014 North-central Alabama Regional Council of Governments (NARCOG) Title III contract.
* Authorized Walker to sign 2014 SenioRx contract with NARCOG. The Cullman County Commission on Aging will continue to administer the program which has saved Cullman County seniors $429,000.
* Authorized Walker and Cullman County Emergency Management Agency Director Phyllis Little to sign contract with Helms Associates in Clanton to update hazard mitigation plan. The EMA received a $27,500 federal grant, of which it is required to put up $6,875. The cost for Helms Associates to update the plan will be $20,625.
* Authorized the Commission on Aging to purchase two used buses from H.E.L.P., Inc. through the Alabama Department of Transportation for $5,210, 20 percent of the vehicles’ total value.
* Approved purchasing 17.82 acres adjacent to Stony Lonesome OHV Park for $18,502, which is under the land’s $20,000 appraised value. The property will be used as an alternate route around a steep hill that only experienced drivers can maneuver around safely.
* Appointed Layne Lowery to Cullman County Industrial Development Board.
‰ Rejected all bids for corrugated metal pipe. County Engineer Jon Brunner said the road department doesn’t use enough of the material to justify putting it out to bid.
* Awarded bid for asphalt mix, splitting it between Good Hope Contracting for delivery and Wiregrass Construction for pickup.
* Approved Cullman County Fair Association’s request for $1,089.46 for assistance with utilities incurred with Christmas Love.
* Approved Cullman Community Concert Association’s request for $4,800 to assist with the annual campaign.
The county commission will hold a work session 8:30 a.m. Jan. 28, followed by its regular meeting at 10 a.m.
* Tiffeny Owens can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 256-734-2131, ext. 135.