Happy New Fiscal Year
By Randy Garrison
If any of you work in government service you know October 1 is the beginning of another fiscal year. While many of you are thinking, we have three months left, that is true of the calendar year, but for accounting purposes in the municipalities such as the City of Hartselle, we closed out one year on September 30, and began fiscal year 2019-2020 on October 1.
The City of Hartselle finished year 2018-2019 on a good note, financially speaking. We ended the year with an increase of revenue over what was projected in the annual budget. We also ended the year with a 5 percent increase in sales and use tax over the 2018-2019 year.
I, along with the members of the City Council are happy with the year end results. We are appreciative of the continued support our local citizens are giving the city by supporting local businesses and spending their tax dollars here at home.
As I look back over the past year, I am happy to say we have made another dent in the goal made when this group came into office of replacing aged and worn out city equipment. We replaced more police cars, fire department vehicle, a very worn out dozer, mowing equipment for Park & Rec, garbage truck and several pieces of smaller equipment. While it may take a few years to get to the point the city can replace equipment on a timely basis, we are on the right path to achieve this goal as well. For many years finances did not allow this to take place, but as funds are available this can continue to take place.
As we move into the new year this goal continues, we will be purchasing more police cars, additional garbage trucks, new safety equipment for the fire department, and upgrades at the Civic Center that includes replacing the floor in the main gym.
The addition of two new restaurants downtown, along with a popcorn/shaved ice and an ice cream shop, that recently opened continue to keep tax dollars here as well. Several buildings have been refurbished downtown and others are in the process of being refurbished for new uses. As it has occurred in the past a vibrant downtown is a sign of a good economy for the entire city.
A Cost of Living raise for all employees, as well as merit increases for eligible employees on their anniversary dates was funded last year and will be so again this year. The City of Hartselle has dedicated and loyal employees, very deserving of all increases in pay that can be afforded and funded.
Other good news for this upcoming year includes additional paving for other streets in the city. Several streets were paved this year, along with sealing and striping the city parking lots. and others will follow Also, the Alabama Department of Transportation is planning to pave Hwy. 36 from Hwy.31 to the interstate, which will include Main Street from 31 & 36 all the way through downtown and Main Street East.
So, hats off to a New Year, and may it be one of the best yet for all who call Hartselle home. May God continue to bless you and yours, and our hometown.