Helena approves more funds for Hillsboro Parkway

Helena moved one step closer toward opening the remainder of Hillsboro Parkway April 12, as the City Council approved an $800,000 bond issue to complete the project.

The Hillsboro Parkway project is completely funded by U.S. Steel, but the city previously approved a $9.9 million bond issue to complete the project in 2007.

But an unusually rainy construction period and several change orders caused the project cost to overrun by about $800,000, said Jammie Cowden, a spokesman with U.S. Steel Real Estate.

“This is probably one of the rainiest construction periods we have ever had,” Cowden told the council, noting the city issued the bonds, but U.S. Steel will fund them over the next 25 years.

U.S. Steel will use the additional $800,000 to complete several unfinished parts of the Hillsboro Parkway project, including improvements to a currently unopened section of the parkway between Shelby County 91 and Shelby County 17.

U.S. Steel opened a section of the parkway between Shelby County 91 and Shelby County 52 in February.

Cowden was unable to predict when the remainder of the parkway will open, but said it will be “hopefully soon.”

Because U.S. Steel is funding the project, the additional bonds will come at no cost to the city. However, Helena will grant U.S. Steel a 50 percent discount on sales taxes collected at any retail location built along the parkway in the future, said Mayor Sonny Penhale.

In other business, the council:

Granted a home occupation license to Sloss Technologies, Inc. at 4137 Old Cahaba Parkway.

Agreed to annex a total of about three acres of land at 4421 South Shades Crest Road and 90 Countryside Lane.

Appointed Harold Woodman to the Planning and Zoning Board.