White Hall Mayor Noel Foster's City Hall office desk is covered with his records of municipal projects to complete or launch this year.
White Hall Mayor Noel Foster’s City Hall office desk is covered with his records of municipal projects to complete or launch this year.
“So far it has not slowed down one minute,” he said as he shuffled several stacks of paper while searching for a catalogue for municipal parks supplies.
» Construct a second fire station on Hospitality Lane on land purchased earlier this year;
» Deliver an analysis of a city-wide survey on what residents want in a community center to the Advertising and Promotion Commission;
» Consider expanding the existing police station or building a larger station;
» Build a climate controlled storage facility for municipal records;
» Complete one street overlay and watch the price of hot mix asphalt to determine if it drops to reasonable levels;
» Parks improvements;
» Monitor the city’s upgraded water system;
» Mowing city-owned property and the on- and off-ramps at two Interstate 530 interchanges;
» Drainage improvements for a residential subdivision in the northeast area of White Hall; and
» Expanding the city’s composting efforts.
White Hall residents were given the option of completing the community center survey by mail or on the Internet earlier this year. The A&P commission placed the community center high on its agenda for 2012 and authorized Foster to conduct a survey on what residents expect in the facility.
The survey results will be utilized in the planning process of the planned community center. “We had a good response,” Foster said. “We simply wanted to know what people want in a community center.”
White Hall has more than $3.3 million in a capital fund earmarked to build a center. The city has acquired several tracts south and east of the intersection of Dollarway and Hoadley roads for a center, parking and walking trails.
Revenues from the 2 percent tax on prepared foods and motels adopted in May 1997 generate about $22,000 monthly for the fund, with interest adding more monies for the project.
Foster said he would like to see $4 million in the center fund before construction begins, probably in 2013. Commission members should have ample time to digest the survey results and meet with architects to flesh out a design.
Rooms for receptions and reunions, a splash park and indoor swimming pool were among suggestions made earlier. Commissioners have indicated they may consider erecting a center in phases as funds become available.
“From baseball to aquatics, the survey will be our guide,” the mayor emphasized.
In the meantime, Foster added, decisions can be made on charging membership fees to help pay for operational costs of the facility.
He has been working with engineers to develop drainage improvements for the Whitefield residential subdivision, explaining relief from flooding will be worth the effort. The city obtained a $100,000 grant to pay for the project.
While the bulk of the drainage project will be handled by a contractor, the city will have an active role in the effort, the mayor said.
Work is expected to start in the summer “when it is dry so we can get the equipment in there.”
Foster said he has been fortunate “to have a progressive city council to work with,” adding the cooperation makes his job much easier.
He cited two actions at this month’s council meeting suggestions and support.
Alderman Scott Ray recommended the municipality look in to picking up bagged grass and other yard waste prior to Wednesday, noting many residents mow their yards on weekends and the bagged clippings remain at the curbs for several days.
Starting Monday, Foster said, public works employees will begin picking up the bagged yard waste the first day of each week.
The recycling effort this year generated 40 tons of compost that was provided free to residents on a first-come basis. The compost stockpile has been exhausted for the year.
The council also authorized a summer work program for young workers to mow and edge parks and other public property, including the on- and off-ramps at two Interstate 530 interchanges.
He said the busy schedule means White Hall is continuing to grow and pains sometime come with growth.