By Hannah Caver, Staff Writer
TRUSSVILLE — The Trussville city council approved the settlement with USAA and recognized the State Champion Lady Huskies Flag Football Team on Tuesday, January 11.
USAA initiated four (4) separate appeals for a refund of its business license tax against the City of Trussville, along with other municipalities around the state, claiming USAA and/or its local insurance agency is entitled to refunds of business license taxes paid by USAA and/or its local insurance agency to the City between 2016 and 2018 pursuant to § 11-51-191 of the Code of Alabama (1975).
“As we started a negotiation with them, we just tried to find a middle ground, and they were willing to accept it,” Mayor Buddy Choat said. “It took us three trials, but we got the $22,000 settlement which was about half of what they were due. I felt like it was their money anyway.”
The City’s insurance company, the Alabama Municipal Insurance Corporation (AMIC), appointed James W. Porter, II of Porter Porter and Hassinger, P.C. to defend the City in these matters along with other municipalities around the state who were also sued by the same parties.
Through extensive negotiations between its counsel, the parties arrived at a fair and reasonable settlement to resolve all claims pending in the current litigation whereby the City will pay USAA and Garrison Property & Casualty Co. the amount of $22,579.88 in complete, final, and full settlement of all claims pending in this litigation.
Resolution No. 2022-01 approved the vacation of recorded yet undeveloped streets and rights of way located between Honeybee Circle and the Alabama-and-Tennessee Railway. This resolution encompassed the following site addresses:
- 3652 Sutton Avenue
- 3642 Deyempert Avenue
- 3632 Hawkins Street
- 3645 Springville Street
- 3627 Sutton Avenue
- 3621 Sutton Avenue
- 3613 Sutton Avenue
- 3616 Deyempert Avenue
Trussville City Council honored the Hewitt-Trussville Lady Huskies 2021 Flag Football State Champions.
The 2021-2022 academic year marked the inaugural year for Flag Football as an Alabama High School Athletics sanctioned sport, giving female students opportunities to play football.
The proclamation will be presented to the Hewitt-Trussville Lady Huskies 2021 Flag Football team on Friday, January 14, at the basketball game.
Hewitt Trussville High School (HTHS) fielded a team with one freshman, four sophomores, ten juniors, and nine seniors. The HTHS proceeded to dominate all season, outscoring their competition 260-65 while posting a perfect 10-0 record; and
the Lady Huskies defense either shut out or gave up less than 10 points in seven of their ten games.
The Lady Huskies finished their perfect season with a dramatic championship-clinching touchdown reception in double overtime against Smiths Station. The Lady Huskies have now established the standard of excellence by which all future state champion flag football teams will have to measure up.
Choat requested that the council add to Trussville’s consent agenda hiring two full-time public safety dispatchers effective January 15, 2022.
“Grade 16 step 10, pending their successful completion of pre-employment training,” Choat said. “This is an opportunity to fill two positions that we’ve tried now for a couple of years to do, this would really be beneficial to our police department.”
In other matters, the Council approved:
- Reappoint Melody Trimm to the Beautification Board, term ending January 14, 2027;
- Hire Troy Vance as Public Works Unclassified Laborer (Grade 7 – Step 4), effective January 15, 2022;
- Reappoint Reid Frazier and appoint Josh Wooten to the Public Safety Committee, term ending January 11, 2025;
- Proclamation Honoring AHSAA Hall of Fame Inductee Coach David Dobbs;
- Proclamation Honoring the State Champion Lady Huskies Flag Football Team;
- Proclamation Honoring School Board Member Recognition Month;
- Public Hearing Regarding the Proposed Vacation;
- Resolution to Vacate All Proposed Yet Undeveloped Roads and Rights of Way Between Sutton Avenue and the Alabama-and-Tennessee Railway, and
- Resolution to Approve Business Licensing Legal Cases Between the City and USAA.
- Accounts payable;
- 2022 Economic Development Association of Alabama winter conference for Mayor Choat and Councilor Bright. $675 registration per person plus accommodations.
Councilmember Alan Taylor reviewed the 2021 annual report from Trussville Fire and Rescue and Trussville Police Department during the council reports.
Trussville Police Department’s Cheif Eric Rush said the important number is zero homicides, but the city has received 999 911 hang-up calls. These calls are more from people who accidentally activated the emergency call button on their phones. Rush explained it takes a lot of effort to track down the calls when people accidentally call 911, and it takes away from the emergency calls. So he wants people to be aware of how you can accidentally call 911 to reduce the number of 911 hang-up calls.
Trussville Fire and Rescue had 4,382 total responses in 2021, which is a 21.62 percent increase compared to the 2020 total responses of 3,630.
In 2021, Trussville Fire and Rescue responded to 25 structure fires, 19 car/vehicle fires, 32 brush fires, and 466 fire alarms. The number of COVID-19 also increased since 2020, there were 218 COVID-19 related calls, and in 2021, there were 258 COVID-19 related calls.
The next Trussville City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 25, beginning at 6 p.m.