Helena Mayor Brian Puckett celebrates one year in office
Published 8:42 am Thursday, November 4, 2021
By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer
HELENA – It’s certainly been a momentous year for the city of Helena, and on Tuesday, Nov. 2, another major milestone was celebrated: a whole year of Brian Puckett as mayor of Helena.
“A year ago today I was sworn into Office and have the privilege to lead the amazing people of Helena,” Puckett wrote in a Facebook post next to a photo of him being sworn into office. “A lot has changed and many challenges presented themselves over the year. I am beyond thankful and humbled to have the opportunity I do each day to lead our amazing City. Here’s to continue success and always doing what’s best for Helena.”
Puckett took office in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and immediately began working with members of the community to make them feel safe and secure.
Some of Puckett’s major milestones in the past year include:
- Went after and successfully got $753,000 in COVID funds in the first 45 days to purchase key equipment to not only help with the pandemic but also set Helena up as a city for future success
⁃ Purchased a new rescue unit, critical life-saving equipment for the fire department, and vehicles to jump start the new fleet management program
⁃ Refinanced the existing bond debt to leverage low interest rates to complete capital projects without extending payoff time or increasing outgoing payments
⁃ Went through three natural disasters (tornado – April, flood – May, flood – October) that was over $4MM is city damage
⁃ Presented a balanced budget that included a 10 percent pay raise to employees to be more competitive in the market and made the minimum start pay at $15 an hour
⁃ Purchased three new fire trucks to bring Helena’s outdated fire fleet up to par with cash on hand
⁃ Increased Helena’s reserve fund to $4.5MM
⁃ Strengthened partnerships with the city and Shelby County and US Steel
⁃ Increased headcount in fire, parks, streets and utilities department
⁃ Rolled out a new fleet management program that streamlined maintenance and repair by outsourcing and rotating vehicles out every four years.
⁃ Began much needed infrastructure improvements that included repaving of 11 city streets, adjusted the turn lane on Coalmont to reduce the traffic risk, work to lay a main water line from Dearing Downs to Hillsboro Pkwy
⁃ Began documenting policies and procedures
⁃ Put in a focus of digital transformation for employees and city operations
⁃ Mapped out and completed analysis on pipe size and conditions of all sewer lines within city
Puckett has made note on several occasions that his door is always open to residents of Helena, and he reiterated he will always strive to work towards what is best for the city and citizens of Helena.