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Hobson City formalizes link with foundation to restore, maintain Town Hall

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Hobson City: A town in peril, a history worth saving

Shown here in 2009, the former C. E. Hanna School building was named for longtime educator C. Edgar Hanna and is home to Hobson City's municipal offices.

HOBSON CITY The Town Council unanimously voted Monday night to enter into a formal agreement with the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama to establish and maintain two separate funds dedicated to the renovation and upkeep of the former C. E. Hanna School building.

The building is used as the Town Hall and is considered by many to be a historic site for its place in the history of the civil rights movement.

One fund to be established is a non-endowment fund from which money would go directly toward restoring the school. The second fund would be established as an endowment where funds earned from the investment would be marked for maintaining the building in perpetuity.

Councilman O’Mildred Ball, who requested more time to study the proposed contracts with the foundation last month, made the motion to approve with an initial $1,000 deposit from the city for each fund.

The contractual relationships place the foundation in charge of ensuring the funds are invested and disbursed in a proper fashion, and give it an active role in securing donors for the project.

“The non-endowed special projects fund is geared toward accepting contributions on your behalf, thanking the donors for contributions on your behalf, helping the donors keep track of their contributions, providing tax receipts for the donors, and then paying the bills for the renovation of this building,” explained Foundation President and CEO Jennifer Maddox.

“The endowment part is where we set up something where it would generate money for the city in the future for the maintenance of this building,” Maddox continued. “You would not have to fundraise for things like electrical or plumbing repairs.”

She said having both funds open gives donors an option in their choice of how to contribute.

“Some donors like to be a part of making something happen today or in the very near future,” Maddox said. “Some donors like to plan for tomorrow and want to see their money make more money for things they care about in the future.”

Maddox said the Foundation was “excited” to join with Hobson City in its restoration efforts.

“I want to thank you all for taking this leap of faith” said Mayor Alberta McCrory. “That’s what this is. We’ve been talking about what we need to do for a long time. We’ve talked to other people throughout this county who want to partner with us in this endeavor. I think once we get moving more people will become involved. I think this is a very good time to start working to make these dreams happen, and now we have someone with the expertise to help get things done.”

Council members also approved a beer and wine license for Michele Malone, who recently acquired the business formerly known as Austin’s Quick Mart, which operated with the same class of license.

Malone said plans are to have a grand opening for what will now be known as Hobson City Grocery on Jan. 22.