By Melanie Patterson
North Jefferson News
One north Jefferson city is quickly moving forward on its plans to build two community safe rooms for the use of residents during severe weather.
On Monday, the Fultondale City Council authorized Mayor Jim Lowery to enter into agreements with Lehe Planning LLC, which will manage two FEMA Hazard Mitigation grants for construction of the two facilities.
The city has obtained more than $1.2 million in federal grants for the safe rooms; one will shelter up to 400 people and the other will hold 300 people.
Also on Monday, the council approved the city’s general fund budget for fiscal year 2012-2013. Finance chairman Joe Bolton said the budget shows a slight increase in projected revenue and in expenses. The hike in expenses will be partly from giving 3-percent raises to city employees and from purchasing equipment.
“We project a surplus this year like we had last year,” Bolton said.
In other business, the council:
• authorized the mayor to enter into an agreement with the Jefferson County Board of Education for municipal use of Fultondale Elementary School. Officials said some city basketball teams will use the school gym for basketball programs
• held a first hearing for the condemnation of three properties: 1705 Elkwood Drive, 2217 Regina Street and 5821 31st St. N. A final hearing will be held on Jan. 28
• increased the reimbursement for call-outs for each volunteer firefighter and paramedic beginning in January, from $15 to $20 per call
• changed the regular Dec. 24 council meeting to Dec. 17 at 11:30 a.m.