Nesmith Park upgrade underway

The Cullman City Council's 2020-2021 budget is a little smaller than the previous year's but the city will still be offering a cost of living pay raise to its employees.

During Monday night's council meeting, Council President Jenny Folsom said the $93.8 million budget is around 2 percent smaller than last year's $95.8 million budget, but it does still include a 2.6 percent cost of living raise for city employees.

She said the city always bases its budgets on the revenues that it received over the last fiscal year, and the coming year's budget is conservative.

"We base it on what we've been getting," she said.

Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs said the city employees' insurance costs were increased from last year, but the city is covering the increases so employees and their families will not see a higher bill.

The budget also includes a change in the city's employment structure that will convert the city's Tier 1 and Tier 2 employees to the same tier for the state retirement plan, meaning they will all receive the same benefits upon retirement, Folsom said.

The city's general fund comes in at around $38.4 million for the coming year, around 2 percent higher than last year's, and that increase is mainly due to the pay raise and tier conversion.

Most of the city's other funds saw a decrease for the coming year, with a few exceptions for projects that are ongoing or set to begin.

One of the increases in the budget include the Parks and Recreation Construction Fund, which is seeing around $1.97 million allocated into it for this fiscal year after having only $16,000 allocated last year. The increase comes because there are multiple projects at Nesmith Park, Heritage Park and East Side Park all in the works. The city is also working to finish the Palomino RV Park at the Burrows-Hamilton Farm.

The other fund that saw an increase for the 2021 budget is the Downtown Revitalization Fund, which is seeing an allocation of $1.1 million for the coming year after having an allocation of $800,000 last year. That increase is due to the First Avenue streetscape project that is underway in the Warehouse District.

Plans for the streetscape project include hanging overhead string lights, widening sidewalks to meet city zoning standards of five-foot wide sidewalks that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, plantings and other beautification features, such as a stamped cobble-stone centerline and brick pavers. The plans also call for removable bollards that the city can use to block off vehicle traffic for pedestrian events.

In other business, the council:

  • Approved a special event request from Melissa Hudson of The Crossing Church to hold a worship service, music, testimonies and prayers at Heritage Park’s Walmart Pavilion on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020 from 1:30 p.m. until 9 p.m.
  • Approved a special event request from Nathanial Hutchinson for the annual Turkey Shoot held at the Cullman Moose Lodge every Saturday in November and December.
  • Approved a special event request from Kari Driver for a 5K Run on Nov. 21, 2020 to benefit Cullman Christian School.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-02 to amend position control detail for FY2021 budget.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-03 to adopt pay matrix, job descriptions, job classifications, and fire program for FY2021 budget.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-04 to apply for ALDOT grant assistance to install and upgrade safety features at the Arnold Street rail crossing.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-05 to enter into a Community Service Contract with American Legion Post #4 of Cullman.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-06 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Child Advocacy Center of Cullman.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-07 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Childhaven.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-08 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Cullman 310 Authority.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-09 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Cullman Agriplex.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-10 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Cullman Area Mental Health.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-11 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Cullman Caring for Kids.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-12 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-13 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Cullman Community Band, Inc.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-14 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Cullman County Commission on Aging.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-15 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Cullman County EMA.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-16 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Cullman County Extension Service.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-17 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Cullman County Health Department.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-18 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Cullman County Historical Society.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-19 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Cullman County Public Library.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-20 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Cullman Soil and Water.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-21 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Cullman Downtown Merchants Association.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-22 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Cullman Farmers Market Steering Committee.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-23 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Cullman Regional Medical Center.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-24 to enter into a Community Service Contract with VFW Post 2214.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-25 to enter into a Community Service Contract with First Source Women of Cullman County.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-26 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Good Samaritan Health Clinic.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-27 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Hope Horses, Inc.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-28 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Pilot Light, Inc.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-29 to enter into a Community Service Contract with The Grace Place on Cullman.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-30 to enter into a Community Service Contract with The Liberty Learning Foundation of Alabama.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-31 to enter into a Community Service Contract with The Link of Cullman County.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-32 to enter into a Community Service Contract with United Way of Cullman County.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-33 to enter into a Community Service Contract with Victim Services of Cullman, Inc.
  • Passed Resolution No. 2021-34 to reject the bids for Nesmith Park project after the bids came in over budget.
  • Passed Ordinance No. 2021-01 to annex 1528 Catoma Lane NE into the city limits of Cullman as R-1.

Tyler Hanes can be reached at 256-734-2131 ext. 238.

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