By Cady Inabinett
The Montevallo City Council adopted the city’s 2021-2022 fiscal budget at their Sept. 27 meeting. The council voted unanimously to accept this budget, making it the first fiscal budget passed since this council was sworn in November 2020.
Total city expenditures for the approved budget came in at $6,598,644.62. This is an increase $761,166.62 from the 2020-2021 fiscal budget. However, city revenue has increased as well, from $5,809,885 leading into the 2020-2021 fiscal year to $7,641,979.63 leading into the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
The largest allocation of city funds goes toward the Montevallo Police Department, receiving $1,897,593—approximately 29% of the city’s budget. This up from $1,610,545, or approximately 27.5% of the budget, in the previous fiscal year.
The next highest set expenditure was funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, set at $800,077.
Other notable expenses included $250,000 set aside for Victory Building renovations and $158,000 for storm shelter construction.
Mayor Rusty Nix proclaimed Sept. 27 as Family Day and Sept. 27 until Oct. 2 as Family Week in the city. According to Nix, Family Day and Week are supposed to help, “promote the importance of family interaction and connecting to kids.”
Nix said, “Children are our future and society’s greatest asset,” before going on to claim that, “children who spend significant time with both parents show lower risk of suicide, drop-out, teen pregnancy, incarceration and drug abuse.” He also pointed out that, “40,000 Alabama children a year experience court-order visitation with one parent for only two to six days a month,” and went on call attention to the importance of co-parenting.
Nix went on to say it’s “our responsibility” to “help create a solid foundation for the future and happiness of all Alabama’s children.”
Nix also recognized the local State Farm Insurance agency for 100 years of service and declared Sept. 28 as Be A Good Neighbor Day in Montevallo. He announced that the agency will “kick off” their 100-year celebration on Sept. 28, and that festivities would “run through” June 7. He did not expound on what this celebration would entail.
Nix noted that State Farm has been “one of the longest established businesses in the community,” and congratulated local State Farm agent Bob Butterworth for “serving the city” for 67 years.
Two Montevallo residents addressed the council during the meeting. The first was C.P. Pierson, who asked the council to do something to, “alleviate some of this bad parking in the city.”
One specific area Pierson pointed out for having parking issues was the area around Main Street Tavern. He called allowing parking along the sides of the road by the restaurant a “bad idea,’ saying, “There have been times that I’ve been through there and I’ve had problems trying to get up the street.”
Pierson implored the council to ban parking in that area, suggesting instead that, “The Tavern should consider, like downtown Birmingham, having valet parking and rent the parking space from the high school.”
Joyce Sherer addressed the council as well, asking questions about the ongoing storm shelter construction projects. Sherer asked who would be responsible for opening the shelters during inclement weather and who would be in the shelter while it was in use to help.
Nix said that the storm shelter location behind the fire station will, “be monitored by the fire department,” and that the location at Stephens Park would be monitored by, “the folks from the fire department or, you know, someone from City Hall or, you know, the police.”
Nix added that there would be, “an official person at each station.”
Later in the meeting, the council unanimously voted to accept a bid from Harbor Enterprises, LLC to construct the new storm shelter located behind Montevallo Fire Station No. 1—located off Main Street. The construction of the shelter would total $97,000.
The council also unanimously voted to waive vendor fees during the upcoming Art Walk on Oct. 25. Nix pointed out that waiving vendor fees is, “something that we do for a lot of our events that we have in town.”
Council member Sonya Swords asked for the council’s opinion on a request for $30,000 in aid from the Montevallo Development Cooperative District from Montevallo High School coach Blake Boren to redo the flooring in the gym and weight room.
Swords, who is a representative on the MDCD board, expressed her desire to know the council’s opinion on the matter before voting on it at the MDCD meeting. Swords invited Boren to speak to the council about the flooring issues.
Boren said there are, “major flooding issues at the high school,” that has resulted in “some dry rotting in the floors” in the gym and the weight room.
Boren also spoke on the influence renovations would have on the community, pointing out that both middle school and high school athletes use the facilities.
Council members seemed to respond positively to approving funding for renovation, with Nix saying that helping to promote athletics in the city, “kind of fits in line with the Family Day proclamation,” from earlier in the meeting, saying, “as long as we can keep kids involved in something, they’re not out on the street.”
The next City Council meeting will be held Monday, Oct. 11, at 6 p.m. The meeting will be livestreamed on the city’s Facebook page. Citizens may also attend the meeting in person at City Hall.
Cady Inabinett is the editor in chief of The Alabamian. She’s majoring in English and double-minoring in political science and peace and justice studies. She enjoys reading, watching movies, caring for houseplants and generally just being pretentious in her free time.