Splash pad, gym area in Carbon Hill needs some work

Ed Howell
Posted 6/15/17

Let’s clean out the notebook ...

• Hopefully, Carbon Hill officials can reopen the splash pad soon. I took photos there Monday and saw that the facility wasn’t in too bad a shape, although some work will need to be done. A fence needs to be repaired after being ripped up some. A water fountain looks to be disconnected for some reason. Grass is growing out of the drains.

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Splash pad, gym area in Carbon Hill needs some work

Posted

Let’s clean out the notebook ...

• Hopefully, Carbon Hill officials can reopen the splash pad soon. I took photos there Monday and saw that the facility wasn’t in too bad a shape, although some work will need to be done. A fence needs to be repaired after being ripped up some. A water fountain looks to be disconnected for some reason. Grass is growing out of the drains.

Frankly, a lot more work really does need to be done at that general site. The Blue Gym (really the old Carbon Hill High School gym) is being renovated inside, and thankfully it will have air conditioning and heating.

However, some cosmetics really need to be done outside, too. Doors and windows are boarded up, which looks horrible. The grounds around the area are grown up, and need mowing.

Of course, the first concern is getting the basics worked on. Hopefully, city officials will work out the kinks, especially with sensors so that individual parts will work instead of the whole park. It is a shame that all of that area is not closer to the city pool, which looked absolutely fabulous during the season-opening free day.

The best part of that trip was that I finally tried the ham and cheese sandwich at the Pizza Bar, as I have never ate there before. I ran into Carbon Hill Police Chief Paul Agnew and we had a long chat there while we ate.

• The flash fire incident at Carl Cannon Chevrolet has been a terrible thing, and all of us have been saddened by that. (Mayor Healther Hall led the Parrish City Council in prayer for those injured that night, one of whom later died.) I went up briefly to assist Managing Editor Ron Harris in small ways for a few minutes at the scene. I posted a photo from the scene on our Facebook scene, as I guess others were wondering what I was — besides concern for the victims, how was the building? I was somewhat relieved that the building was not up in flames, or that would have been a real blow to Jasper’s morale.

• I continue to hear “list” stories which seem to be in vogue, some from companies I’ve never heard from. For what it is worth, a firm called SmartAsset released information saying that Jasper is the 10th best city in the state for performance of 401(k) accounts, based on an index. Fultondale, Troy and Homewood were the top places; Russellville was in seventh place. Interesting to note the employee contribution percentage in Jasper was 41.6 percent, while Fultondale had 60 percent and Troy, Homewood and Daleville were north of 50 percent.

Then a health watchdog group called Leapfrog Group graded hospitals across the state. The group released twice-a-year grades since 2014 that shows Walker Baptist Medical Center in Jasper getting mostly A’s (along with B’s in the springs of 2016 and 2017, sandwiching an A last fall).

Meanwhile, a more well-known group, The Barna Group, an evangelical Christian polling firm, has decided the most church-attending areas are, with Chattanooga coming in first. “Birmingham-Anniston-Tuscaloosa” is like fourth. However, the rest of the numbers were grim. While 73 percent of Americans say they are Christian, about 38 percent of Americans are active churchgoers.

About 43 percent of Americans are unchurched and about 34 percent once attended regularly but haven’t attended in about six months. Areas in California, Massachusetts and Las Vegas are more where these people are found the most.

• My friends at the Hamilton Area Chamber of Commerce asked for me to pass along they are having a cruise-in series of car shows at Bevill State Community College on June 24, July 29, and Aug. 26 from 6-8:30 p.m. There is no charge for participating.

• I was impressed at Parrish City Hall with a simple idea that they have set up. They have a card holder on the wall with space to hold business cards for the mayor and council, as well as the police chief, park and recreation director, the court magistrate and the town clerk.

That is a very simple and relatively easy way for visitors to get the contact numbers of people they need, especially if they come and the officials are not in yet. I don’t know why other municipal and county governments have not thought of that idea.

For that matter, I think officials in recent years have done a fantastic job renovating the city hall; it really looks nice. Moreover, I can recall some Parrish council meetings in years gone by that bordered on wrestling matches, but everything appeared calm and collected Monday; I’m told that these meetings are greatly improved since my last tenure here.

• I had to drive to Birmingham this week and was shocked that I made it from Woodland Villas Apartments in Jasper to downtown Birmingham in 40 minutes, and to Lakeshore Drive in 50 minutes. I can’t get over how much U.S. Interstate 22 has affected travel in the area. (Moving from Hamilton to Jasper didn’t hurt me in traveling to Birmingham, either.) 

• Jasper Mayor David O’Mary clarified for me Wednesday that another lane is not being added to Viking Avenue to add to what has already been done recently; work now more or less will be paving, as he understands it.

(The barrels on the north side of the road confused me.) He also wanted to clarify to people that a road is being built from the back of the new Jasper High School to 22nd Street that he feels will ease the school traffic on Viking concerning school buses and regular vehicles.

Ed Howell is the Daily Mountain Eagle’s news editor.