Jim Lowery

Fultondale Mayor Jim Lowery delivered his annual State of the City address last week at city hall. 

FULTONDALE­—Fultondale Mayor Jim Lowery gave a State of the City update Thursday morning. Lowery began his address by stating the leaders of the past gave the city the firm foundation that the leaders of the present continue to build upon. He said Fultondale’s leaders were committed to enhancing the quality of life for all citizens.

He also reinforced his belief that strong commercial growth helps build growth in other areas that are important to its citizens. The city continues to make improvements to the infrastructure and the public use areas of the city.

These improvements are mainly funded from two sources. First, is the sales tax collected from businesses in the city. Second, is from lodging tax from hotels built in the city. Lowery said Fultondale has the lowest property tax in the State of Alabama.

Lowery said he prefers to collect taxes from business to improve the city for the residents that live here. He stated that they took advantage of the interstate traffic to increase revenue for this economic growth.

In 2018, more than 60 percent of the city’s total revenue came from sales tax and more than 20 percent came from the lodging tax. The total budget for the city in the year 2018 was $12,984,399, which is just a slight decrease from 2017, when the total was $12,535,756, even with the loss of large retailer Best Buy.

In 2018, Fultondale saw the addition of 10 new business such as Five Below, Shoney’s, Verizon, 3i Car Wash and Southern Grace Salon. Lowery said he believes variety in new business is important to the success of a city.

He also highlighted the programs that are put on by the city. Currently LED lights are being installed at Fultondale High School, along Highway 31 and on Walker Chapel Road.

Church of the Highland is in the process of building a new campus and donated 30 acres back to the city for commercial development.

Moving forward, the city is planning a new storm shelter, paving road projects, new red light on Walker Chapel Road, a Police/Fire memorial and they are still in active negotiations with the Jefferson County Board of Education for a new school building, that will be located on the property of the current High School.

The Fultondale Gas Department, which serves Fultondale, Gardendale and Mt Olive, continues to work on replacing the old cast iron pipe that runs throughout the communities, which will lessen the chances of leaks and danger to the community.

Other City Numbers:

Police

•2 new officers

•2 new police cars

•737 arrests

•13,206 calls to the communication center

Fire Department

•30 active members

•2,100 calls last year with 17 structure fires

Maintenance Department

•17 Personnel responsible for road maintenance, speed bumps, 1700 tons of curbside debris pickup

Library

•6 full time staff

•Open 51 hours a week

•4,465 Fultondale users

•65,000 visits

Senior Citizens Center

•100 attendees

•Events, meals, activities and outings

City sponsored activities

•Family movies in the Park

•National Night Out

•Veteran’s Memorial Programs

•Christmas Tree Lighting event

•Mayor's Prayer Breakfast

•Founders Day

•Barking at the Moon at the Bark Park

•Disaster Relief

Rachel Davis is the editor and general manager of The North Jefferson News. She can be reached at editor@njeffersonnews.com or by calling 205.631.8716. 

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