Gardendale Mayor Stan Hogeland presented his annual State of the City address at April’s Chamber Luncheon. The event opened with a prayer by Gardendale First Baptists’ Pastor Kevin Hamm, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. The event was catered by Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ with table arrangements by Wilson’s Florist of Gardendale.
The mayor’s office presented a slide show of all the happening in Gardendale over the past 12 months.
The Mayor welcomed all guests and thanked everyone for their continued support of him and the city. He introduced Gardendale City Council members and all the city’s department heads. Hogeland thanked them for all their hard work this year.
Some of the highlights from the past year included a new communication system for the police department, and several new vehicles for the fire department, such as a ladder truck for taller buildings in the city, a new rescue truck for emergencies and a new pumper truck.
The Park and Recreation Department has also been very busy this year. They are finishing up a new toddler’s play area at the Splash Pad, installing new lights at the soccer field, creating an additional flag football field, making improvements to an unused building on Fieldstown Road and donating the use of the building to the Scouts.
The city is also part of the Five Mile Greenway Project and Hogeland serves as president of this project’s committee. When completed there will be 28 miles of uninterrupted paths spanning across many cities. The ribbon cutting for the new path will be announced soon.
The city received a good financial audit for the year. Their finances remain solid with assets of 57.3 million which includes 11.7 million in cash or cash equivalents.
David Waldrep and wife were introduced at the luncheon. Last year, Waldrep was saved by employees from three city agencies (police, fire and public works) who worked together after a car crash that lead to a fire. He credits the city workers for saving his life. Representatives from all four schools located in our city were there.
Hogeland challenged the attendees to do a better job of letting people know the good things that are happening in the schools.
Hogeland also gave an update on local businesses including the opening of Jollela’s—a meat-and-three restaurant located on Odum Road in Gardendale—this week. Captain D’s remodeling is underway now. A corporately-owned RaceTrak is coming to Gardendale, replacing the old Raceway building which will be tore down for a new modern facility.
He also announced a new incentive to property owners called Impact 31. They hope to bring in new business and revitalize the corridor along Highway 31 in the city.
Gardendale is also hoping to open more health related businesses in the near future. They have given the development of new medical-related businesses the name Gardendale Medical Mile as there are currently 75 medical-related businesses in Gardendale. To assist him in putting these efforts together, Hogeland stated that he had brought Bill Casaday to work directly with him in a part-time position.
Future developments include the 13 acres around UAB. The first new development will be Springhill Suites by Marriot and the second will be announced soon.
Hogeland ended with his word for the 2019 year: “Committed." He is committed to make Gardendale a better city!