Garden City Freedom Celebration

The town of Garden City came out Sunday for the town's Freedom Celebration, kicking off the 4th of July holiday week.

GARDEN CITY — After the success of the town’s Freedom Celebration leading up to the Fourth of July, Garden City leaders are now considering hosting a town gathering in the fall.

“It was amazing, it was awesome,” said Councilman Scott Arnold of the Freedom Celebration the town celebrated on Sunday, June 27. The family-centered event included a mechanical bull, an inflatable slide, free food and a fireworks show put on by the town fire department.

“I hope we can do it next year,” he said.

Mayor Tim Eskew said he planned on including the event as a line-item in the upcoming budget. The council and residents then threw out some ideas for holding a similar community-wide event in the fall, centered around Thanksgiving, and possibly including a fundraiser for the town’s fire department, but decided they would give it further consideration later in the year.

The council continued its on-going sewer system upgrades by requesting a $346,900 wastewater grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) through the Community Development Block Grant program to replace three aerators, two baffle curtains and a generator at the town’s sewer plant. Eskew said town will be required to match 10% - $35,000 - of the grant.

He said when they first began looking at upgrades, the project was easily a $1 million endeavor. “We’ve trimmed this down a long way from where we were,” he said.

The town is also working on a project to replace residential water meters with newer models. The work on that will be done primarily by town employees.

The council also approved a six-month extension to Bio-Chem Techniques to reset and maintain the proper bacteria levels at the waste water treatment plant.

Eskew said he is currently working on the town’s budget for 2021-2022 and said the current budget year is on track. “Everything is looking really well,” he said. “The numbers are where we want them to be.”

Arnold requested additional funds be added in the next budget for maintenance of the town cemetery. He said funding for the cemetery currently comes from donations and burial fees, but it’s not enough to cover the maintenance.

He said the recent addition of cameras at the cemetery have been helpful. “It has eliminated a lot of mischief over there,” said Arnold. Eskew said two more cameras will be installed soon.

In other business, the town approved July 19, Juneteenth, as a paid holiday for town employees, and heard from Fire Chief James Johnson on the work done to the fire station to create an air conditioned space for medical supplies. 

“It’s amazing what it looks like now compared to what it was,” said Johnson. He said they will have to buy a new air conditioning system for the space, but it will be purchased out of the fire department’s budget.

Amy Henderson can be reached at 256-734-2131 Ext. 216.

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