Heflin council hears second budget presentation
September 12, 2017
By Bill Wilson
The Anniston Star

Heflin city clerk Shane Smith presented the city’s budget proposal at a Heflin City Council work session Tuesday night; after additional work, the document will be voted on at the next council meeting.

Smith previously presented a budget at last week’s work session but has been tweaking and adjusting it to find more savings for the city.

The newest version of budget has total revenue of $3.21 million and total expenses of $3.15 million.

At the formal meeting following the work session, the council unanimously passed the consent agenda, which included declaring a city owned vehicle surplus so that its sale can generate some cash to use for a newer vehicle for police Chief A. J. Benefield. The vehicle being made surplus is a 2007 Impala and the newer one is a 2014 Impala.

Money to buy the new vehicle will also come from the seized funds account.

The council also heard various department heads give their reports for the month of August.

According to Benefield the month of August had a uptick in traffic citations due to school being back in session. Benefield said the department had the following statistics:

— 44 incident reports

— Three crash reports

— 16 felony arrests

— One DUI

— 19 drug arrests

— 12 warrants served

— Nine new investigations

— 247 traffic citations

— 393 traffic warnings

— Patrolled for 15,107 miles

Heflin fire Chief Jonathan Adams reported that the department had the following calls:

— 13 motor vehicle collisions

— Two structure fires

— One vehicle fire

— Eight trees down/ power lines

— Five medical calls, which were all at the Cleburne County Fair

Economic Developer Tanya Maloney gave an 2016-17 economic impact report for Cleburne County. Maloney said that two businesses located in Cleburne County in 2016-17 fiscal year: Tree Brand of Ranburne and Rusken Packaging of Heflin.

Maloney said that Rusken currently employs 45 and is hiring for a second shift and plans to add a third shift in the next year. Maloney said that Tree Brand currently employs 20 and is projected to double its staff over the next year.  Yearly payroll for both businesses is approximately $2.5 million.

Maloney said that she has two active industrial prospects and two potential prospects.

Maloney also said the new Dollar General store in Fruithurst has projected yearly sales tax of $70,000 for Fruithurst and will employ three to five.

The new O’Reilly Auto Parts store in Heflin will employ three to five workers, but the projected yearly sales tax figures were unavailable, she said.

Maloney said that she has four active retail prospects for Heflin and two outside of Heflin.

Maloney gave total sales tax figures for Heflin for October 2016- Sept 2017 which were $87,809, a 6.2% increase over the previous year.

Heflin Parks and Recreation Department Chairman Tammy Perry said the department will be assisting with the Run For Their Lives— Halloween/ALS 5K on Oct. 13 at the Cleburne County Courthouse. The 5K will take place at 7:00 p.m.

Perry also said she recently met with the staff of the Cheaha State Park to continue partnerships and support of their programs. Perry stressed that the park is now under great new managament.

“We hope that the more we’re up there and the people associate Heflin with Cheaha because it is in our county, we have a very good relationship with them,” Perry said.

Perry said that Cheaha Park Operations Supervisor Renee Raney routinely brings programs to Heflin for kids and adults.

Before the meeting was adjourned, Heflin Mayor Rudy Rooks commended the police department and fire department for their service over the last week during the inclement weather the town has experienced.