• 59°

Hartselle strategic plan addresses quality of life

Editor’s note: This is third and final story in a series focusing on Hartselle strategic plan issues.

The need for improvements in sports programs and recreation, education and hospital and health care facilities are listed among top issues facing the future of Hartselle, based on input from more than 25 community leaders who are working to have the city designated as an Alabama Community of Excellence (ACE).

A steering committee has been formed to take responsibility for identifying individuals and organizations to play key roles in determining cost estimates and finding solutions to problem areas. It will conduct an organizational meeting Thursday (today), June 23, at the Depot.

After the committee’s work is done, the ACE plan will be used as a resource for updating the city’s 20-year comprehensive plan.

The construction of a new high school on Bethel Road is projected to support and strengthen the city’s sports programs through the provision of additional athletic facilities.

Concerns include the following:

• Need to examine all sports programs to determine if the programs can be financially profitable.

• Need to utilize any currently available tourism promotion staff or programs to promote Hartselle’s sports programs and facilities.

• Hartselle would like to develop a community wellness center that would feature a community swimming pool.

The Hartselle school system is viewed as community strength; however, two needed improvements are included in the ACE plan.

The first is a need to establish a strong pre-K program for the school system. A joint committee report on creating and sustaining a pre-K program has been completed,

Another need is improvements to technology education and workforce development programs. The new Hartselle High School facility will help on both of these items. Discussions are currently under way involving Hartselle Board of Education, Morgan County Board of Education and Decatur Board of Education about the possibility of a partnership or regional approach to technology education and workforce development.

Improvements needed to local hospital and health care facilities are listed as follows:

• Need to promote local utilization of the hospital and other local health care facilities.

•Need to do a better job of informing local residents about emergency response protocols (i.e, what happens when certain injuries occur in terms of where patients are taken, treatment protocols, etc.)