Calera’s Mayor Graham reports on health of city
By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist
Calera Mayor Jon Graham received numerous rounds of applause as he reported the health of the city to Calera Chamber of Commerce members during the group’s June luncheon.
When Graham took office in 2009, there were zero dollars in reserve and $5,600 cash on hand.
To date the city holds $2 million in certificates of deposit and cash on hand is $2,921,000.
Graham credited city leadership for attaining these numbers.
“These numbers give an overview of the mindset the council and I have, Finance Director Roy Hadaway and Connie Payton, our city clerk. We’re not going to spend what we don’t have,” he said.
The city has paid off Southern Natural Gas, Shelby County Water Board and removed lobbyists from the payroll. City policies have been amended to be in compliance with current audit standards and the city has received good audit reviews over the past three years, Graham said.
Housing permits began an upswing in 1991 and peaked in 2005 with more than 600 permits sold. Graham projects 135 permits will be sold this year. Permits have recently been issued for Waterstone, Enclave, Emerald Ridge, Camden Cove West, Hampton Square, Timberline, Union Station, Shiloh Creek and Kinsale subdivisions. Graham and the city engineer are relentlessly pursuing to have federal and state dollars pooled for road improvements. In addition to the I-65 exit 231 bridge, which needs widening, the northbound on ramp of exit 228 needs lengthening. The Calera by-pass environmental study has been completed and is under ALDOT review. The by-pass, from Alabama 25 by Argos to U.S. 31 just south of AC Legg, will eliminate truck traffic in downtown Calera.
Construction is under way on the 58-acre sports park behind the high school, construction on the new concession stand at Oliver Park is completed and a grant has been sought for a 120-plus capacity community storm shelter to be located behind Calera Elementary on Whippoorwill Drive. Construction on the fire museum to be built on Alabama 25 is anticipated at anytime.
Bojangles is under construction in front of the Hampton Inn. Education sales tax holiday weekends will continue and a severe weather preparedness tax holiday has been added. Graham opened the floor for questions and announced his candidacy for re-election on Aug. 28.
Mollie Brown can be reached at email@example.com.