City Council hears details of capital budget
October 5, 2017
By Bill Wilson
The Cleburne News

Heflin City Clerk Shane Smith gave the City Council a breakdown of the city’s capital budget expenditures and purchases and projections for the upcoming year during a work session Tuesday night.

Smith said the capital improvements account, which was started in October 2014, has funded projects totaling $807,857.09 to date. It’s intended to pay for large items, like reroofing jobs and for maintaining property, vehicles and equipment.

“What I’ve done over a ten-year plan is to put us on track to plan ahead for the these purchases so we don’t have to purchase them tomorrow, this is a good way for us to project outward, to plan ahead, to have the funds necessary  to pay for these large expenditures so it’s not a day-to-day operational expenditure,” Smith said.

According to Smith’s presentation some of the capital improvements to the city since 2014 include:

— Street paving

— New roofs at Armory and recreation center

— New fire truck

— New grappling truck

— Art center parking lot upgrades

— Baseball fields improvements

— City Hall remodeled

— Parking lot at fire department

— 4 police vehicles

— City van

Projects for 2017-18 include:

— Command truck for the fire department

— Finish the outdoor classroom at Cahulga Creek Park — Grant funded

— Lawn mower for the parks and recreation department

— Utility vehicle for parks and recreation department

— Scissor lift

— Dump truck

— Property purchases

— Completion of City Hall

The council also considered the possibility of Sunday alcohol sales in Heflin. At a recent work session, several business owners expressed concern that they were losing money to other businesses outside of Cleburne County which have Sunday sales, such as Anniston. The City Council considered the options available, which include a vote by its members up or down on the question, or holding a special election in which all municipal voters decide. But such an election would require the advance approval of the state Legislature.

The council was split on the issue as Councilman Clinton “Shag” Austin was not present.

One of those opposed to even bringing it to a vote was Shannon Roberts.

“I feel like this, it’s a snake, some people drink it and do fine all their life and other people don’t and it breaks up marriages and everything else,” said Roberts.

Councilman Travis Crowe favored having a special election but also said he believed the question would fail if put to the voters.

Mayor Rudy Rooks instructed the council to mull it over and talk to their constituents to get feedback about Sunday sales for a future work session.

Rooks updated the council on the progress of the Cahulga Creek bridge project. Rooks said that everything is moving forward and the bid process to build the bridge will begin once all necessary paperwork is turned by month’s end.