Debate over fire truck, sewerage good for Hartselle
Hartselle City Hall is having a debate about finances that's taking place on a plane above what might be called a squabble.
The discussion is over buying a new fire truck now, putting it on the city's official wish list, going ahead and extending sewerage to city-owned property along Interstate 65, or repairing Foote Road.
The debate appears to be philosophical as much as financial. One side argues that the city must take steps to ensure fire protection while another proposes extending the sewer lines that will bring needed growth. A third view is that the city doesn't need to take money from its reserve to buy the $350,000 pumper.
Council President Kenny Thompson wants the new truck now after the city was without fire protection for one hour recently when all three trucks were temporary out of service.
Mayor Dwight Tankersley wants to include the truck purchase on a list of ranked priorities. He says repairing Foote Road and getting sewer to the interstate are more important.
The problem, if there is one, is that taking any of the recommended actions will benefit Hartselle citizens. The city will grow once the sewer line goes in, which means more city revenue. Growth means the city will need better fire protection than is currently available.
Council members and the mayor are having an open debate about city government, which is good for Hartselle residents and makes for stronger government.