Carbon Hill fireworks, free pool event set for Sunday, July 4

Scheduling will allow city to keep Saturday's proceeds


CARBON HILL - The Carbon Hill City Council agreed to hold its July 4 celebration on Sunday, July 4, which will also include the free swim day and fireworks that were cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The pool was opened on the Memorial Day holiday.  The pool will use its regular opening time of 1 p.m. that holiday. 

"I recommend we have it on a Sunday. That's a day we're usually not open to the public anyway," Mayor April Kennedy Herron said at Tuesday's council meeting. "If we have a free swim day that day, then it is just extra funds coming in that day on the concessions. We're not losing a paid day of swimming."

She noted many other municipalities will have their holiday celebrations on Friday and Saturday, as the Fourth of July falls on Sunday this year. "So that gives people the opportunity to go to the Friday and Saturday events in the area and then come to ours on the Fourth, on a Sunday," she said. 

District 5 Councilwoman Jewell Hess noted many people will be in church on Sunday night. 

"I understand that," Herron said. "But usually we don't start shooting the fireworks until 8:30. It's pretty late." 

The council adopted the Sunday date on a vote. District 4 Councilwoman Judy Hurst was absent and District 6 seat has not been filled since June of last year. The city will hold an special District 6 election on Tuesday, Aug. 10, to fill that seat, with candidate qualifications being held through 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 27. 

After the meeting, Herron said more churches have reached out to her to be involved in the July 4 event, such as handing out water. A DJ is expected to be on hand. Also, seating is expected to be set up so that residents at the local nursing home who can get out can have their own area to enjoy the fireworks. 

As the fireworks show was cancelled last year, Herron said the city was given credit by a fireworks company to be able to pick up the same amount of fireworks - about $3,000 worth - this year. The fireworks should start between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., she said. 

If anyone wants to be involved with an event, booth or to volunteer, they are welcome to contact Herron at City Hall at 205-924-9961

She said she also understands from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Encompass Hospice will sponsor an event where free barbecue sandwiches will be handed out at the splash pad on Saturday, July 3. Games and prizes will also be available. Admission to the splash pad, which is next to the Blue Gym, is always free. 

In other action Tuesday, the council: 

• Heard District 3 Councilman David Phillips, speaking for Fire Chief Buddy Smith, said some air brake issues were resolved that day. A company had inspected Engine 2 on brake issues, and the inspector said some maintenance is needed, although it is safe to drive. The council agreed to allow maintenance to be done, as the inspector said the cost would likely be under $1,000. Funds will be taken from the Fire Department's funds. 

• Heard Phillips say he wanted a meeting between the fire chief, rescue chief, dispatcher head, mayor and police chief. "I'd like to have that soon than later to get everybody on the same page," he said. Herron said that could happen that week if everyone is available. "I think it would bond everybody back together a little bit instead of everybody being their own - kind of try to work together," Phillips said. 

• Heard from Street Superintendent Alan May the garbage truck is in the shop for repairs, while repairs have been made to a tractor and backhoe. Tires have been installed on the backhoe, he said. 

• Marian Ognoskie of the Little League said football sign-ups are underway and the first jamboree will be Labor Day weekend. Baseball and softball seasons are over. "We had two teams to win it all," she said. The teams are being encouraged to come to the next council meeting. 

• Heard Herron say the city is still looking at door and lighting repairs at the Blue Gym, as covered under a recent grant. "We are slightly behind schedule but since we are dealing with COVID-19 issues, that is kind of expected," she said. Work should be completed before basketball season. 

• Heard a request to use a tennis court for parking in the wake of renovations at the Little League field. Parking has been parked over a distance during tournaments. Herron said they could after the Fourth of July celebrations, which was fine with Little League officials. Herron said she would also first check to see if there are any liability issues at the site. 

• Held an executive session on the good name and character of a person. 

• Agreed to renew Ken Guin's two-year contract as municipal judge. District 1 Councilwoman Cindy Killingsworth abstained in voting. 

• Voted to make $1,800 in repairs to a pump at the municipal pool, to be paid out of park and recreation funds that has revenue from the pool. 

• Decided to set up an Old Pisgah Cemetery Committee to oversee funds the city takes in for the cemetery, oversee grass cutting and other maintenance, and apply for grants. Herron later said appointments still have to be made to the committee and people can check in with her to see about being appointed to the committee. Some people are already helping with the cemetery, which is also expected to have a clean up day in time. 

• Voted to participate in the state's 2021 Back to School sales tax holiday, set for July 16-18. 

• Agreed to reschedule the next council meeting for Monday, June 21, at 6 p.m. due to vacation schedules. Herron talked about the need to inform Hurst about the change. 

• Heard Herron say that after that night's meeting, if anyone wants to speak during the meeting to please let Herron know at least a day or two before the meeting so she can be prepared for questions. 

"It seems a lot of people want to hit me without any kind of prep. They just want to hit me with a surprise, so I ask if you want to be recognized at a council meeting, not necessarily the official agenda, but hit me up and I know to call on you after I ask the council if they have anything. That is a change we will be making for the future.