By Lee Weyhrich
PINSON — The city of Pinson has begun the new year on the right foot as evidenced by the preliminary audit report, as well as several upcoming projects.
Charlie Palmatier of Borland Benefield, the city’s independent auditing company, reported the council has “maintained an already strong financial position.”
In fact, Pinson has been given an AA- financial rating by Standard and Poors, which Palmatier considers a huge honor for a city as young as Pinson. City coffers have shown a surplus over the last few years, but Palmatier said compared to other Alabama cities, Pinson is way ahead of the curve.
The accounts show enough surplus to handle seven months of operations, compared with the four-to-six month official standard, and the two-to-three month numbers most other municipalities are currently showing, Palmatier said.
Income is up by $60,000 over last year, and Palmatier predicts that if the Pinson City Council stays on this path, growth will be steady.
In other news, the city council last week voted to annex 11 more parcels of land. The council also recently annexed a portion of Glennwood and voted last week to enter into a contract with the Glennwood Fire District for fire protection.
“Jefferson County is of course divided into fire districts, and whenever a city annexes further along, it technically removes property from that fire district,” city attorney Shane Black said. “Then the city has an obligation to provide for services; so you either contract with the district or you start your own department.”
The Center Point Fire District and Palmerdale Fire District also serve Pinson.
At the last December 2014 meeting the council discussed a grant process that would allow storm shelters to be built at each of the fire departments. The grants would cover 75 percent of the cost, but could potentially cover 100 percent since the value of the land placement can count toward the remaining 25 percent. The council voted to spend $7,500 to hire Encompass360 for consulting and application development for the grant. Should the grant be approved, the Palmerdale station will be the first to receive a storm shelter.
The council also renewed the contract with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to provide enhanced law enforcement. The enhanced service allows up to 500 officers throughout the county to be available through a single system, giving the city access to not only the four contract deputies, but every other benefit offered by the sheriff’s office.