Lighting change would save money
A "surcharge" is nothing more than a tax by another name. It looks like the Hartselle City Council will approve the utility surcharge added to each participant of sports activities sponsored by the Hartselle Park and Recreation Department. The surcharge may be small. However, this surcharge will be in addition to any sign up fees already in existence.
The utility surcharge has come up from time to time at Hartselle City Council work sessions. Mr. Rank Miller, director of the Hartselle Park and Recreation Department, originally proposed the idea of a utility surcharge at the City Council work session on Aug. 25 and this was reconfirmed at the City Council meeting on Nov. 25. It is estimated that this surcharge could possibly generate $6,000 to $8,000 per year in revenue for the Park and Recreation Department.
Comments have come up on the issue from time to time. Councilman Tom Chappell had made mention of this at at least one council meeting.
At the council worksession on April 7, I have a proposal to the mayor and all the city council members, except Alvin Abercrombie, on a reduction of the street lighting on Highway 31.
The following analysis of street security lighting on Highway 31 as its passes through Hartselle from Abercrombie Chevrolet to Thompson Road. There are 109 poles with two lights per pole for a total of 218 lights. Each light is 400 watt high pressure sodium.
Per Hartselle Utilities (March, 2003) the cost to operate each light is $7.23 per month, plus 10 percent charge for maintenance on each light. This equates to a total cost per month of $7.95 per light. The annual cost per light is $95.40.
The total monthly cost for the 218 lights is $1733.10. Total annual cost for the 218 lights is $20,797.0. Reducing the number of lights by 50 percent (to 109 lights) would save $10,398.60 annually.
In addition, the intersection on Highway 31 at Highway 36 and Hayes Street have additional street lighting as follows:
None of the other intersections on Highway 31 have any additional street lighting. Why only these two intersections? Reducing street lighting at these two intersections would provide additional savings.
I know is this a small savings of $10,000 plus, but it is a start, and as utility rates continue to climb each year so will the savings.
In lieu of the utility surcharge on each participant of sports activities I would recommend reducing the street lighting on Highway 31.
This is only my suggestion. What are your ideas? Show up at the Hartselle City Council meeting and let your elected council members know.
I am not opposed to charging a fee or surcharge for those who utilize various activities that Hartselle Park and Recreation has to offer. I believe the city of Hartselle needs to look at some alternatives first. Also, we must remember that lighting is a big expense for sports activities.
I believe Frank Miller does an excellent job as director of Hartselle's Park and Recreation Department.
Thank you, Mr. Miller, for waiving the fees for the veterans' groups using the picnic area at Hartselle Civic Center. This is a good way to show some support or the veterans and military retirees of this great country we live in. Freedom is not free.
School leader thanks donors
On behalf of myself, Wayne Jones, and the faculty and students of F.E. Burleson Elementary School, I would like to thank everyone involved in raising funds for our new computer center.
We have been able to turn an empty room into a computer lab filled with 25 online computers, new chairs and countertop desk surfaces.
We are grateful to each of you that made a barbecue sandwich and scooped a spoonful of baked beans or potato salad.
Thanks to each of you for believing in this project and generously giving your time and contributions. You have bettered our children's education. Without you, none of this would have been possible.
A special thanks goes out to the following businesses and individuals:
Corum's Farm and Building Center, Big Top Toys, Abercrombie Chevrolet, Mike Cobb's Custom Cabinets, BYCO Plastics, Cook's Pest Control, Baker Industries, Classic Panel Design, Joe Sartain Ford, Lynn Layton Chevrolet, Bill and Wendy Swann and Dr. and Mrs. Ed Robbins.
Thanks again for everything you do. We are fortunate to live in a community that can work together and bring projects like this to a reality. These students are our future and you have made our future brighter.
F.E. Burleson Elementary School
Staggered terms not a solution for city
I read in your paper that the Hartselle City Council is implementing a plan whereby council members will be elected for staggered terms. This is a subterfuge to appear to bring diversity to the electoral process.
The council members will still run at large and 51 percent of voters will still elect 100 percent of the council members and all the members can still represent one upscale neighborhood. This is an underhanded deception.
It is intended to obscure the state law to consider dividing the city into districts. How can the city consider dividing the city into districts when they have already decided not to? My hope is that we will elect men of principle for the next election.