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Heflin City Council considers new style of street lighting

HEFLIN The Heflin City Council has voted unanimously to purchase a fire truck from the City of Oxford.

During a City Council meeting Tuesday night, Heflin fire Chief Jonathan Adams told members the truck is a 1999 pumper which will replace an older fire engine, a 1979 model. The funds for the purchase will come out of the Heflin Fire Department’s fire fund.

Heflin Mayor Rudy Rooks said the Oxford Fire Department recently bought three new pumpers and is in the process of surplusing its older pumpers.

“Since we run so close with them and support their efforts and they support our efforts, especially on Interstate 20, they wanted us to have one of their trucks,” Rooks said.

Rooks said the cost of the truck is $17,000 which will be financed out of the city’s fire fund for three years.

“In our fleet even though it’s an old truck to them it’s only a year older than our newest engine,” Adams said.

During the work session prior to the meeting, Robert Richardson,a representative from Alabama Power, addressed the council about the city changing out its old and aging street lamps to newer and more efficient LED fixtures. He said that the new fixtures have better light distribution and there would be no upfront cost to the city.

Richardson said that Heflin has about 603 lights and 458 are of an "open bottom" style that could be upgraded to the LED style if approved by the council.

Richardson said that there would be an increase of $1087.80 per month for the new lights if the city decided to have them installed.

The reason for the increase is that under the old style lights — such as mercury vapor and high pressure sodium — rates were frozen years ago when Alabama Power stopped offering that style of lights, according to Richardson.

“As a courtesy and and good relationship we have not raised those prices in line with the rest of the lights,” Richardson said.  

Richardson said some of the old street lamps in Heflin are so old they barely glow.

Richardson said the lights could be installed in phases if needed.

Rooks said that for safety and sound economics it would be the thing to do. The council decided to discuss the matter and consider Richardson’s offer.

“At this point in our budget we just may have to try to slowly ease into it. Of course we will discuss it with the council,” Rooks told Richardson.

Caron Duckworth, owner of the new Heflin eatery Flora’s Table, talked to the council about parking issues for her restaurant.

Duckworth said that the restaurant will open soon and she is concerned about the lack of parking on Ross Street where her restaurant is located.

Parking spaces are limited due to the way the city changed the appearance of Ross Street years ago and Duckworth urged the council to consider freeing up more parking spaces by redesigning some of the landscaping on Ross Street.  

Heflin economic developer Tanya Maloney said the Heflin Christmas tree lighting will be next Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. The tree is located in front of the new amphitheater on Ross Street next to City Hall.

Maloney also said Creekside Market will be held this weekend at Bennett Farms. The market will feature everything from fresh produce to antiques, music and lots of wildflowers. Bennett Farms is located at 1073 County Road 13 in Heflin.

Maloney also said that there will be a shrimp boil and live bluegrass music at Southern Brew Trading Company on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is located on Burns Street in downtown Heflin.

There will also be a wine-tasting event at High Country Cellars from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday according to Maloney. The winery is located at 849 Almon Street in Heflin.

 

​Staff writer Bill Wilson: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @bwilson_star.