Helena mayor gives ‘state of the city’ address at Helena Business Association meeting

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–At the monthly Helena Business Association meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 3, business leaders from the Helena community gathered at Helena City Hall to discuss important matters pertaining to the association, but to also hear a state of the city address provided by Helena Mayor Mark Hall.

Hall addresses the Helena Business Association once a year to provide an update on the latest happenings in Helena, including the city budget, new businesses coming to town, road projects and more.

On Oct. 3, before an audience of approximately 50 people, Hall discussed current and long-term issues facing the city in a low-key environment with HBA members.

“It’s always a pleasure to be here with you because you’re the heartbeat of the business community here,” Hall said. “The business owners that own a piece of Helena, each of you, are what we depend on and you’re what really keeps this city moving.”

Hall highlighted that the city budget included adding cars to the HPD fleet, the addition of a firefighter/paramedic position, the addition of a new brush truck and more while finishing with another positive budget.

“We got a balanced budget again this year,” Hall said. “We have about $1.8 million in reserve. When I first came to you a few years ago after being elected mayor we had zero. We’re so happy to get close to that $2 million mark which was a goal we set to have to keep the city solid and put the city back on sound financial footing. One of the things that does when you start building your reserves, is that it gives you a better credit rating.”

Other things Hall mentioned in his address included the following:

–The approval to construct a new youth soccer field at the Helena Sports Complex.

–Continued work on a trail project that will extend the Hillsboro Trail all the way to the Helena Sports Complex. Hall and officials are still working on land acquisition and environmental details.

–Transportation needs including a $1.5 million project near Helena Elementary School to provide dedicated turn lanes to help with traffic and alleviate backups.

–Shelby County 13 and 93 turn lane additions and the city moving water lines in order to get the project started.

–Continued work on a metro participation effort that includes Helena, Pelham and Hoover and Shelby County with ALDOT to try and get Shelby County 261 widened to a four-lane all the way to I-65.

–A new retail addition with the opening of the Waffle House in Helena.

–Hall encouraged everyone to continue to support the Helena Miracle League fundraisers that will help bring a new ball field to the city for children and adults with special needs.

For more information on the Helena Business Association, visit Hbahelena.com.