Cullman’s 2021 budget includes capital projects and purchases for each of the city’s departments, including the automated garbage trucks that are set to enter service next month.
As part of the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Budget passed during Monday night’s meeting, the city approved the $1,512,525 capital expense to purchase the new trucks and the new cans that will be required for their use.
The city first announced the switch to automated trucks in October 2019, citing the improved safety of the city’s workers who will no longer have to exit their trucks to empty trash cans.
Every household will receive one cart that's covered under the current sanitation fee of $16. If an additional cart is needed, customers can call the sanitation office at 256-737-7560 to request an additional cart for an additional charge of $8 per month per cart.
Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs said the trash cans for the automated trucks should begin to be distributed to city residents next week, and the trucks are set to enter service on Nov. 9.
The Street Department has one major project on the docket for the coming year, with $2 million set aside to pave West Main Avenue, along with $1.5 million to continue paving neighborhood streets.
The Cullman Police Department received a little more than $343,000 for capital projects, with $140,025 set aside for buying new patrol units and $203,109 allocated for various equipment purchases. Cullman Fire Rescue also received $42,300 in various equipment purchases.
The Traffic Department will have $189,200 in capital improvements in the coming year, with $118,700 going to improvements at the 1st Avenue/2nd Street intersection and $70,500 paying for 10 new camera systems.
For the Sewer Department, $670,000 in capital purchases includes a new inspection camera and van, pull heads for pipe bursting and a new vac truck.
The Wastewater Department had several new equipment purchases approved for the year, with $70,000 allocated for two crew trucks, $45,000 for a tractor with a bucket and $35,000 for three new Ranger or Gator side by sides.
The Water Department had more than $980,000 in capital purchases, with $200,000 set aside for a new excavator, $100,000 for a new backhoe, $226,000 for two skid steers, $70,000 for a compacting roller, $125,000 for a telescoping handler, $60,000 for three new air brake trailers and $205,000 for five new crew trucks.
Cullman Parks & Recreation has several planned projects in the coming year, with a major overhaul of Nesmith Park coming in at $1.6 million. The city has received $450,000 in grants to help cover some of those costs for the project, which will include the construction of a splash pad, playground, basketball and pickleball courts, multi-use fields, walking trail and restrooms.
The department also has $200,000 allocated for continued upgrades at Heritage Park, $168,000 for the RV Park located on the Burrow Property and $50,000 for upgrades at East Side Park. The city also allocated $150,000 to purchase land at East Side Park as part of the planned upgrades.
Parks and Recreation Director Zac Wood said the Nesmith Park project should be completed in the coming year, and the RV Park is getting ready to open in the next few weeks.