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Hartselle Enquirer

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By Staff
Airport vital to economic growth
Editor,
Letters addressing expenditures at Hartselle's airport were published in the Hartselle Enquirer on Aug. 19 and the Decatur Daily on Aug. 22.
My issue with these letters is the writer's rationale for challenging airport expenditures.
For way too long, Rountree Field has been viewed, as stated respectively in these letters, as a "recreational airport used by only a small handful of Hartselle residents," and "primarily for recreation and for a small number of Hartselle and area pilots."
Rountree Airport is more than that today and its potential as a business/industry asset is significant. Not only does it currently serve 12 local businesses and industries, but is being leveraged as a recruitment tool by the Hartselle Development Board to bring new retail business and industries into Hartselle.
Corporate officials of a nationally recognized restaurant recently flew into Rountree to reconnoiter Hartselle for a restaurant location. We are in communication with another major restaurant, inviting them to "fly into" Rountree where we will meet them and provide ground transportation with an escorted tour of available locations having demographics supporting their location in Hartselle.
The HDB is in the very early stage of utilizing a professional marketing document to vigorously recruit new businesses to Hartselle. The potential increased sales tax is essential to the financial health of our city. An important factor in this document and vital to the HDB's optimum success is Rountree Field. It is definitely a business enhancement.
Expenditures at the airport are perceived by some as poor stewardship. I believe that such expenditures applied wisely are investments in Hartselle's economic future with resulting benefits to all its citizens.
Robert C. Francis Jr.
Chairman
Hartselle Development Board
Home's location makes park unsafe
Editor,
How many parks in our city, county or state have a residential home situated in the middle of the park? I think it is ridiculous to ask a citizen of Hartselle to do this.
If the Jenkins sold this home and property to anyone but the city, who knows what kind of person or people would be living there?
It is a dangerous world out there with terrorists, rapists, drug addicts and child molesters.
I don't think neither the citizens of Hartselle nor the mayor and council would want to possibly endanger our children by not having complete control of the entire park area.
To eliminate any possible safety hazards in the future, our mayor and council need to reconsider buying the Jenkins' home and property.
Nancy Howard
Hartselle
Jenkins: City agreed to purchase home
Editor,
A Hartselle council member was quoted in the Decatur Daily, "…but we never told them we would purchase their land."
Approximately one month prior to this statement, the council agreed, voted and instructed the mayor to meet with the city attorney to draft a "legal binding contract" stating that our home and property would be purchased from the city. If not bought by this council, it would be purchased by the next council.
At the last work session, a councilman told the council and mayor, "The Jenkins have done everything we have asked of them and have been very patient. We hired the appraiser and whether or not we agree on the price isn't an issue. We asked for the appraisal, paid for it, got it, and we have to live with it."
Bad precedent–one of our councilmen had concerns the Groover's would expect the city to purchase their land and home, which is across the street from the proposed soccer complex. We talked with the Groover's and they said they have lived across the road from the park for years and would neither expect the city to purchase their land nor would they ever consider selling to the city.
We know the city needs this complex. We are not against it. We have always supported Park and Recreation and have been very active coaching in the past.
We don't want to live inside a soccer complex. The city paid appraised value for the 38 acres surrounding us. Why are we not being treated equally?
Where is the "legal binding contract" the mayor and attorney were instructed to draft?
We want to thank the councilmen who are being honest men of their word. To the mayor and other councilmen, we are very disappointed in and ashamed of you.
Bob and Kathi Jenkins
Hartselle
Private land shouldn't be part of city park
Editor,
How can city officials of Hartselle vote no on buying a home and land that is surrounded on three sides of a park and future soccer complex? The city now owns all the land from Nanceford Road south to Groover Road, except for this home and one acre.
I understand the city paid to have this home and land appraised. Why did they do this if they had no intentions of buying it? It doesn't seem fair to purchase 38 acres and leave an acre and a citizen's home in the middle of the park.
The park is being expanded to benefit the people. In the process, a family is being wronged. I would not want to live inside a soccer complex. What about the safety of the family left to live in the park?
Private land should not be inside a city park!
Mrs. Walter Lee
Hartselle

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