By Erica Thomas, managing editor
TRUSSVILLE — The Trussville City Council approved its budget for the fiscal year 2020 – 2021, during a regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020.
The budget means a 4% increase for the city, although employees will not get a cost of living adjustment. The city will continue longevity pay and merit increases for eligible employees. The city will also take on an increased insurance cost for employees.
“This was a tough budget,” Mayor Buddy Choat said.
Choat said he was thankful that the city had available funds amid a pandemic.
The budget allows the addition of 13 vehicles to the police department as well as a new K9 officer. It also allows for the addition of a rescue vehicle to the fire department and additional personnel.
One change this year in the budget is the separation of Parks and Recreation, the Civic Center and Maintenance. The change is for accounting purposes and will not impact operations in those departments.
David Vinson, Director of Parks and Recreation, said in his budget, he will add equipment and personnel to gymnastics and will convert baseball fields to multi-use fields.
The council unanimously approved the budget.
The full budget can be viewed below.
The cost of redevelopment of the corner where the former Braden Furniture sat, also known as Quad 2, will be $1,247,176.52. The council approved a change order for the cost of the project and the estimate includes grading, utilities, hardscape, landscaping, fire protection, domestic and irrigation water, a private fire main and a private sanitary sewer. Here is the breakdown of costs:
The change order does not change the cost of the redevelopment project, according to Mayor Buddy Choat, it simply puts the total amount of the project in writing. The costs break down as follows:
Braden’s Corner Grading/Utilities/Hardscape: $1,016,249.24
Braden’s Landscape, Russo: $86,909.90
Fire Protection: $4,356.02
Domestic and Irrigation Water: $21,438.42
Private fire main: $63,692.22
Private sanitary sewer: $54,530.72
Total Cost: $1,247,176.52
DOWN SYNDROME MONTH
The city council passed a proclamation observing Down Syndrome Month in October. The purpose is to raise awareness and to celebrate the Down Syndrome community.
Vice President of Down Syndrome Alabama and Trussville resident Stephanie Langford was at the meeting and talked about the importance of this proclamation and what it means to her family.
“I have a child that’s eight, so for me, the acceptance of my child in the city is huge,” said Langford. “My son is young but I see into the future and what he is going to do and how he is going to contribute to the community.”
Langford hopes the proclamation will not only bring awareness but also more acceptance for people with special needs.
“I know that a lot of people don’t realize that our whole mission with Down Syndrome Alabama is just to make sure that people that are different are accepted,” Langford added. “Whether that have Down Syndrome if they have autism, any kind of diagnosis, that the community accepts those differences and that our children grow up understanding differences and showing kindness.”
Down Syndrome Alabama strives to give everyone a chance to thrive, according to Langford.
The council approved the sale of 3.98 acres of property at 112 Anderson Street Circle.
An ordinance to annex properties at 8116, 8118 and 8166 North Lake Drive into the city of Trussville was presented to the council and voted down. The Planning and Zoning Committee recommended the council to deny the move because a public right of way does not extend to the property and because there are fire safety issues on the property due to a lack of a fire hydrant. The council unanimously denied the ordinance.
The council also unanimously denied an ordinance to deny annexing a property at 3155 Center Street.
The council also voted to approve an ordinance updating the stormwater management plan for ADEM. The vote is required every year to comply with ADEM.
The city of Trussville will enter an agreement with Ferus, LLC., for the use of the downtown entertainment district pavilion area. The agreement will be submitted to the ABC Board for approval.
“Basically what this does is gives Ferus a license agreement to use the area in front of and around the pavilion area down there until we can get to the point of it being a true entertainment district,” Mayor Buddy Choat said.
The following items were approved as part of the consent agenda:
New Council Orientation & Leadership Conference -Anderson, Bright, & Sho1i – Montgomery- Oct 27-29 – $310.00 ea plus expenses
AAMCA Fall Training – Porter – Tuscaloosa – Oct 21-23 – $265.00 pus expenses
Intermediate SWAT Level II- Robinson – Jacksonville, AL- ov 9-12 – $255 plus lodging
Reappoint Library Board members through October 25, 2024; Clyde Bolton and Lynn Pass
Reappoint Senior Citizens Advisory Committee through April 15, 2024; LaRue Meadows and Hedy Williams
Approve contract with McKinney Communications for Dish services for screen in entertainment district.
Approve contract Spectrum for wireless
Approve converting lighting at Greenway ballfields to LED decorative poles-514.29 mo
Hire Police Department effective Sept 26, 2020
Steven Sparks -Grade 17, Step l
Dalton Balckwood – Grade l 7, Step 1
Michael Pressley – Approve 5% premium for detective assignment, effective Sept 12 Entertainment District – Change order #2 – Misc. stage & pavilion changes $33,646.94 Entertainment District – Change Order #3 – Braden’s corner development 1,247,176.52
After considering an ordinance regulating golf carts, city leaders said they are going back to the drawing board and considering other options.
The city has received several complaints about residents driving golf carts on city roads. State law prohibits the use of golf carts on public roads and the city has drafted an ordinance to allow them on some roadways. However, after looking into a possible ordinance, public safety leaders said they may have to first go through the state legislature to get approval for such an ordinance.