City Council Applies For Small Cities Grant

The Ardmore City Council met in a regular session Thursday, January 9, 2020. Those attending were Mayor Mike Magnusson, Aldermen Spencer Smith, Paul VanManen, Garon Hargrove, Shane Emerson, and Jason Sherman. Alderman Raymond Crabtree was absent. Also present were, Chief Kennedy, Tim Turner, Mason Daniel, Lance Stamper, Ed Burgoon, Paul Manke, David Hamilton, Jordan Williams, and John Ruzic.

Mayor Magnusson opened the meeting and Alderman Smith led the prayer. Alderman Sherman led the pledge of allegiance. Alderman Sherman made a motion to approve the minutes of the December 5, 2019 meeting. Alderman Emerson second and vote was unanimous. Alderman VanManen made a motion to approve the December expenditures. Alderman Smith second and the vote was unanimous. Alderman Sherman made a motion to approve the 2018-2019 Audit. Alderman Hargrove second and vote was unanimous.

Mary Prier, city recorder, presented a resolution stating the City of Ardmore is eligible for funds under the State of Tennessee "Small Cities" Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG). The resolution gives the mayor the authority to apply and receive and disburse funds. (Approval contingent upon passage by the Water Department).

The Ardmore Sewer System is experiencing a large amount of infiltration and inflow that has resulted in sanitary sewer overflows and surcharging manholes. Old, leaking sewer pipes in the Tennessee section of the Ardmore Sewer System need to be replaced for the health and safety of its citizens.

The total amount of the project is $389,000. The amount from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development will be $318,890. The matching contribution will not exceed $70,020 and will be provided by the Ardmore Water and Sewer Department. Currently the Ardmore Sewer System is paying for a survey on the sewer lines on East Railroad Street in Tennessee. Alderman VanManen made a motion to approve the resolution. Alderman Emerson second and vote was unanimous.

Mayor Magnusson informed the council the city is reapplying for the sidewalk grant. It will be a 90/10 grant meaning the state will pay for 90% of the costs and the city will pay for 10%.

David Hamilton, Executive Director Giles County Economic Development Commission presented a plan to help bring businesses to the City of Ardmore. Pulaski has signed a contract with Retail Strategies, a municipal counseling firm, to bring businesses to Pulaski and the four interstate exchanges in Giles County.

Pulaski will pay $35,000.00 per year for a three-year contract and they can cancel the contract any time along the way. Ardmore can be included in this contract for $10,000.00 a year for the same three-year term. Jordan Williams, a Retail Recruiter and John Ruzic, the Portfolio Director presented the specifics of the program. The firm works with retailers and municipalities to bring retail businesses to the area. They conduct date and research of the community and use mobile tracking, seeing how far people drive to shop. They use custom trade area analysis, peer cities strategies to provide information and demographics to prospective retailers. Mr. Williams and Mr. Ruzic will conduct the research and contact the retailers. Mr. Ruzic stated they also do Real Estate Analysis, looking for raw land and redevelopment of existing properties. Using this information, they market to retail businesses across the country and let retailers know Ardmore exists and what we have to offer and the benefits of locating a retail store in our city.

Mayor Magnusson asked for a motion to contract with Retail Strategies to help bring businesses to the city and he received no response. He then asked if the council wanted to hold a work session to discuss the issue and he received no response. The item died for lack of a motion. Afterward, Aldermen Emerson and Smith stated they would like to have time to think about it before deciding or making a motion. Mayor Magnusson stated he would pass that along.

Alderman Smith made a motion to purchase a table for ten to the Ardmore Tiger Baseball Draw Down Dinner for $500.00 and if a council member should win, they will give the money back to the school. Alderman Sherman second and the vote was unanimous.

Alderman Sherman made a motion that Becky Smith and Joshilyn Tucker remain on the library board. Alderman Smith second and the vote was unanimous. Alderman Sherman also stated the library is having problems with patrons smoking close to the front door and throwing cigarette butts on the ground. There are two No Smoking signs on the front door of the building.

Alderman VanManen requested No Trucks Allowed signs to be placed by the Annex building in order to keep big rigs from driving through that area. He also informed the council there are sink holes in the ditch by the manhole on Austin Whitt Road.

When all business was concluded, Mayor Magnusson said, "It has been one year for the new council members and mayor," he said. "You all have done a great job and let's continue to work together to get things done for the city. If you have projects you've been working on, let's get them finished if they're good for the city. Our playground equipment needs updating and we need to get new businesses in the city to generate tax revenue. But the sewer problem is the top priority for now."

There being no further business Alderman Hargrove made a motion to adjourn. Alderman Sherman second and vote was unanimous. Meeting adjourned at 7:25 p.m.

Tennessee Blue Book 2019-2020 Edition Honors Women's Suffrage

The 2019-2020 edition of the Tennessee Blue Book, released this week, honors the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.

Initially introduced to Congress in 1878, the 19th Amendment was not submitted to the states for ratification for 41 years. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th (and final) state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment, thereby making women's suffrage legal in the United States.

"This commemorative edition honors the steadfast efforts of Tennessee suffragists and the pivotal role Tennessee played in ratifying the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "It is fitting to dedicate our state's official historical reference, the Tennessee Blue Book, to this significant milestone."

The cover of the 2019-2020 Tennessee Blue Book is yellow, honoring the symbolic color of the national women's suffrage movement.

Published every two years, the Tennessee Blue Book is the definitive manual on Tennessee state government. It features detailed information about all three branches of government, Tennessee state history, biographies of elected and appointed state officials, census data, election statistics, and more.

The 2019-2020 Blue Book, published by the Secretary of State's office, is available free of charge to any Tennessee resident through members of the General Assembly or the Division of Publications at (615) 741-2650 or

Previous editions of the Tennessee Blue Book can be viewed at

Cedar Hill Student Donates Hair

Gabe Bradley, a nine-year-old third-grade student in Mrs. Atchley's class at Cedar Hill Elementary in Ardmore, Alabama grew his hair for twenty months until it was below his shoulders. Gabe then donated the hair to Locks of Love, an organization that makes wigs for people with cancer who have lost their hair.

"So they can make wigs for people with cancer," Gabe said about donating his hair. "No members of my family have been affected by cancer, but others have."

Gabe's intention was to grow his hair out so he could wear a man bun. However, when he tried the bun it kept falling around his face and there were little short hairs hanging loose too. He says that became aggravating, so he decided to have it cut.

"I like it long better than short, Gabe said. Now I am planning to grow it out again."

His favorite hobby is playing with his friends and that is what he spends most of his time doing. Gabe, says he enjoys school and wants to try out for baseball this summer.

Gabe, the son of Robbie and Matthew Bradley, is a very nice, well mannered young man. He has a kind heart and is willing to help others. His parents and a good school environment have taught him well.

Town Council Approves Sidewalk Project Enhancements

The Ardmore Town Council met in a regular meeting, Monday, January 13, 2020. In attendance were Mayor Billy Shannon, Councilmen Leah Faulk, Ricky Mitchell, Billy Ray Hall, and Mary Hobbs. Councilman Melody Duffey was absent. Also present were Chief Kennedy and Terry Barkley.

Mayor Shannon called the meeting to order and Councilman Mitchell led the prayer. Councilman Mitchell made a motion to approve the minutes as typed for the December 12, 2019 meeting. Councilman Hall second and the vote was unanimous.

Mayor Shannon gave an update on the sidewalk project. The contractor informed the mayor everything is complete except for the striping of crosswalks. The striping will be completed as soon as the weather clears. Terry Barkley informed the council that the last three lights have been installed at L & S and Whitt Street. Mayor Shannon stated when the crosswalk striping is completed, the State representative, engineer, Terry Barkley and any other council members who want to go along will do a walk through of the sidewalk and make sure everything is complete.

Mayor Shannon discussed having asphalt work done on the parking area beside the police station, fire station, and the old water department building. The cost of the work will be $15,000.00. Alabama State Representative Andy Whitt committed $5,000.00. According to Tim Toone, the fire department will pay $5,000.00 and Mayor Shannon suggested the town pay $5,000.00. Councilman Hobbs made the motion to proceed with the work and pay one third of the cost. Councilman Mitchell second and vote was unanimous.

Terry Barkley presented quotes for benches and trash cans to be placed along Ardmore Avenue. The benches will be six feet long, super heavy with a steel frame and cost $982.00 each. The decorative style heavy duty trash cans cost approximately $800.00 each. Terry suggested the town purchase six benches and six trash cans. Terry Barkley and Shane Emerson will present drawings as to where they believe the benches should be placed. Mayor Shannon asked all councilmen to look and make suggestions as well.

Mayor Shannon stated Alabama State Senator Tim Melson will give $10,000.00 to replace the fence around the tennis court at the park. The fence needs to be on the court not outside the court. The fence is in bad shape. Alabama State Representative Danny Crawford will give $5,000.00 also to be used for the fence upgrade. Terry Barkley will present estimates on costs of replacing the fence at the next meeting.

Mayor Shannon asked for a motion to include allowing Terry to go ahead and order benches and trash cans as well as get estimates to replace the fence at the tennis court, since the money for that will be donated to the town. Councilman Hall made to motion allowing Terry to order items and get estimate. Councilman Mitchell second and the vote was unanimous.

Terry Barkley requested $2,200.00 to replace the netting fence around the street department equipment. Councilman Hobbs made a motion to approve the request. Councilman Hall second and the vote was unanimous.

Mayor Shannon informed the council the Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments, TARCOG, sewer grant was denied. The town and water board will reapply for the grant.

Mayor Shannon will meet with Kevin Hessler, Tuesday, January 14, 2020 to discuss the possibility of applying for a grant to extend the sidewalk from second street to the park so the children will have a safer way to go from the school to the park.

Councilman Hall told the council dirt needs to be placed in some areas of the park. Terry Barkley will get prices for that work.

Mayor Shannon stated, "I would like to see plaques or signs along the sidewalk showing the distance from the town hall to L & S and back so people who walk it will know the distance they walked." He asked Councilman Hall to take care of getting signs or plaques. Councilman Hall said he will get estimates on signs for the council to consider.

There being no further business Councilman Mitchell made a motion to adjourn at 6:58 p.m.

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