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Hartselle Enquirer

Capitol projects part of budget

For the first time in two years, Hartselle is setting aside money to help improve vehicles and facilities.
The 2010-2011 budget includes $755,152 in capital improvement projects. Mayor Dwight Tankersley asked city department heads to compile a list of needed items. That list was narrowed down by more than half.
“We based the list on the theory of what items would cost more to maintain if we didn’t replace them,” Tankersley said. “There are some items you can’t keep going without replacing.”
Chief among those items are police cars. The city has set aside $200,690 for seven patrol-equipped vehicles. Another  $340,000 will go towards a badger and three pickup trucks for the public works department.
The money for the CIP project will come from the city’s general fund. At Aug. 31, the general fund was some $4.33 million.
Capital projects by department are:
Administration
Hartselle’s municipal building will be receiving upgrades, including work in the City Council chambers, which is also used for municipal court hearings. A door will be added to the council chambers and the current riser on which the council and judges sit will be changed.
Currently, defendants in municipal cases must climb the riser’s stairs to address the judge, who sits below them. A portion of those stairs will be removed, making the judge’s bench higher and making the room more handicapped accessible. The rest of city hall will be painted, wallpaper removed and moldings replaced.
The majority of the funding for these projects will come from court fees and state capital improvement money. Courtroom remodel will be some $18,336, with $5,056 coming from the general fund, $3,250 from the state and $14,030 from court fees. All of the money for the city hall remodel, some $40,158, will come from the state and court fees.
The council is still considering a request to replace the air conditioning unit at the library. The estimated cost is $33,500.

Department of Development
Some $231,106 will go towards work at the site of the new Cracker Barrel restaurant. That cost does not include the construction of a left turn lane, something city officials won’t be required. Leaders are still waiting for the results of a traffic study to determine if the additional lane will be needed.
The city is using $103,000 of the state CIP money with $128,106 of its own money to pay for the project.

Fire Department
The city is spending $5,500 for turn out sets to suit three volunteer firefighters. An additional $1,500 will be spent to seal the asphalt at station two.
The city isn’t funding the department’s request for a vehicle to replace fire engine one. The estimated replacement cost is $350,000.

Public works
In addition to the badger and the pickup trucks, the city will devote $9,000 to drainage work.
A request for a $90,000 sweeper and a $115,000 dump truck were not approved.

Parks and recreation department
Swimming pool repairs will cost the city some $46,000. Other department work includes putting a metal roof on the ballfield’s cook shack and bathrooms, with a cost of $4,000 and $5,000 respectively. An additional $3,500 will be used to put a metal roof on the cemetery building, too. A central air unit will be installed at the soccer/football building with a cost of $5,000 and purchasing new basketball goal brackets for $1,000.
The department’s request for replacing the existing batting cage and building a soccer pavilion with bathrooms won’t be considered this year.

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