October 2017
    SMTWTFS
      
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    8 9 10 11 12 13 14
    15 16 17 18 19 20 21
    22 23 24 25 26 27 28
    29 30 31  

Priceville News

Priceville explores extending Marco Drive

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

From The Decatur Daily
by Jonece Dunigan

PRICEVILLE – An increase in population and planned residential housing projects have prompted Priceville officials to explore extending Marco Drive.

Town Councilman Don Livingston, streets and drainage chairman, said extending the five-lane road north by 3,300 feet to East Upper River Road and adding a roundabout in front of the municipal building could cost an estimated $900,000 if the town did all the work. Contracting the project would cause expenses to jump to $2.3 million, he said.

The council might borrow at least part of the money to finance the construction.

“We don’t want to extend our town in the red. We try to stay in the black,” Livingston said. “The mayor is really frugal. Anytime we get too far, he will pull back the reins on us.”

A population boom is in store for the northern portion of Priceville during the next few years. The 200-lot Baker Farms subdivision soon will be constructed on property neighboring the new Priceville High on Bethel Road. Olde River Crossing, with 107 homes, is across the street from the 119,000-square-foot school.

Mayor Melvin Duran said extending Marco Drive would alleviate traffic and give parents, students and other residents another outlet to get around town.

“It’s a safety thing, and it’s also an economic thing,” Duran said. “If we get businesses on Marco, people are going to need a way to get in from Upper River without having to go all the way around to Cave Springs or even (Alabama) 67 to get into the businesses.”

Birmingham engineering firm Goodwyn, Mills and Caywood has sketched the possible extension, and work on engineering plans could be started before the end of the year, Livingston said. But the project remains in the planning stage, and the Town Council has not voted to move forward with it. The road ends now in front of the municipal building.

“It’s just a need that I know is coming,” Livingston said. “We’re trying to stay ahead of the traffic flow.”

It could take two years to develop the road, Duran said.

Council members based the timetable off the Cave Springs Road construction a couple of years ago. The two-lane street was supposed to take 5 to 10 years, but the city finished it ahead of schedule.

“We just sort of started on it one day and told our people to start cleaning it up,” Livingston said. “The next thing you know, we got it rolling and got it done.”

But Marco presents different challenges. It would cost an estimated $100,000 to build a bridge over a major drainage system running through the proposed area. The street would be five lanes wide including the turn lane, and building it could overwhelm the town’s four-member street crew.

“Our town is continuously changing and our employees stay really busy,” Livingston said. “It’s hard to pull them off what they’re doing and say, ‘You’re going to work here.’”

The Morgan County Commission can help alleviate some of the labor troubles.

Commissioner Jeff Clark, whose district includes Priceville, said the county provided about $50,000 worth of labor for the Cave Springs project. The town provided the dirt.

Nothing has been finalized about helping the town on Marco Drive, Clark said. But he said he is willing to help.

“In the next 10 years, there will be a lot of changes as far as traffic needs,” Clark said. “I hope they get it done as quickly as they can.”

Duran said they don’t have to do the project all at once. He said the town can spend up to $60,000 on the roundabout and do the rest in parts. More business in the town would expedite the project, he said.

“You get enough sales tax coming in and we can start it all at one time,” Duran said.

Clark surveyed the area more than a month ago and estimated the cost at $1 million.

“There aren’t any real issues like sinkholes, wetlands or unsuitable dirt that will deter a road to be built there,” Livingston said. “You don’t have to bring more dirt to build it.”

Clark said it will be interesting to see how a farming community will keep up with the growth. Priceville’s population increased 70 percent to 2,948 from 1990 to 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But more people means more requests for infrastructure items like signal lights.

“The growth is a little faster than expected,” Clark said. “Priceville and the county will have to be attentive to the needs of the people out here so we don’t hinder growth by failing to do our job.”

Labor of Love: Priceville’s Tommy Perry personifies public servant

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

From The Hartselle Enquirer
by Clif Knight

PRICEVILLE — Elected officials don‘t often receive the credit they deserve when it comes to going the extra mile as a pubic servant.

Town Councilman/Mayor Pro Tem Tommy Perry is a good example. He was one of the volunteers that responded to the need for cleanup workers recently after an F-2 tornado left a 200-yard-wide path of destruction in Priceville. The following Monday he was working in the Morgan County Veterans Memorial on a project to make it more visitor friendly.

A retired chemical operator for BP Chemicals, Perry is serving in his 30th year on the town council, a two-year appointed term and seven consecutive four-year terms. In addition. he was captain of the emergency response team at BP and a member of the Priceville Volunteer Fire Department.

Perry serves as chairman of the council’s Community Relations Committee and is a member of the Police and Utilities Committees, Planning Commission, Priceville Community Recreation Association and Priceville Boys and Girls Club Committee. He is also the town’s liaison with Morgan County Patriotic Organizations for the Morgan County Veterans Memorial.

You can see the leadership and hands-on work of Perry anywhere you look in Priceville, Veterans Park, youth sports, town-wide special events, school improvements, etc.

“I’ve been accused of being a “yes” man,’” Perry said. “I’ll admit to having a hard time saying “no” to a request that’s in the best interest of Priceville and its residents.’”

The “labor of love” in Perry’s long tenure as a city official is the Veterans Memorial.

“I come from a patriotic family,” Perry pointed out. “ My father and an uncle served in the Navy during World War II and my brother Harry was in the Army during the Vietnam War. I served six year sin the U.S. Army reserves.”

“Morgan County’s veterans organizations came to us and asked if we would help them build a memorial to honor all veterans,” recalled Perry. “We agreed to take on the project, hired an engineering firm to draw the plans and started work about six months later.”

“A lot of the work early on was in-kind labor with District 1 Commissioner Jeff Clark and his crew playing a lead role in site preparation” he stated. City employees also played a vital role as did my brothers, Darrell and Harry Perry, and me.

The first piece of military equipment to be located in the memorial was an Army helicopter, which was previously on display at the Alabama A&M University campus in Huntsville. Next came a P-34 Navy trainer, followed by a M-1 Army tank from Redstone Arsenal, a Navy anti-aircraft gun and two ship anchors.

Perry said he has three half-body mannequins in his home workshop, which will be placed inside the Navy jet soon. All three will be dressed in pilot outfits complete with helmets. The town also purchased a 1945 Marine Corps jeep and is looking for a site in the memorial to display it.

Perry said he considers the work he has devoted to the memorial to be a small sacrifice when compared to what thousands of military families have gone through.

“I don’t see how people would not want to give back honor and respect to those who have made the supreme sacrifice in service to their country,” he stated.

Perry and Mayor Melvin Duran have served together for seven and one-half terms and have a close relationship./ Both served on the Executive Committee of the Alabama League of Municipalities. Perry also serves on the APA Transportation Committee.

“I don’t think Priceville could ask for a more dedicated and hard-wrking mayor than Melvin,” Perry stated. He is a dedicated public servant and a godly man. He’s one of my best friends and I love him like a brother, and the same goes for my fellow council members.”

Perry and his wife Connie are 1967 and 1969 graduates of Priceville High School, respectively. They have two adult daughters, Stacy Perry and Kelly Mortensen, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Students raise funds, show support during diabetes walk

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

From The Decatur Daily
by Jonece Dunigan

PRICEVILLE – Jenny Rehmer wiped tears from her eyes Wednesday during the fourth annual Kids Walk for Diabetes at Priceville Elementary.

Rehmer strolled the school’s track thinking about her family’s journey with her 8-year-old son, Bryaden, who was diagnosed last year. She remembers crying when she explained to her son why he had to take insulin and prick his fingers to stay alive.

She cried as she held him down when he took his first shots. When he received his insulin pump this month, she was afraid it would affect his confidence.

But as Bryaden’s entire second-grade class walked with fake pumps hanging from their arms and legs, Rehmer knew she didn’t have to worry anymore.

“The support is overwhelming because you know people care and they are praying,” Rehmer said. “That’s what keeps him motivated. He doesn’t feel so alone.”

The purpose Wednesday’s event was to raise awareness about Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease affecting the body’s ability to create insulin. The hormone is needed to convert sugars into energy. Type 1 diabetes usually is diagnosed in children and young adults.

Priceville Elementary raised $3,692 for Type 1 diabetes research during its weeklong fundraiser to find a cure, which is more than double the school’s initial $1,500 goal. Ten percent of the funds will go to the school’s clinic.

More than 720 children cheered and laughed as Principal Tanya McCain kissed a pig. Assistant Principal Daniel Gullion’s lip was smeared with lipstick before he leaned in to kiss a goat.

McCain said she didn’t have a problem kissing a farm animal for the students.

“The kids wanted something exciting this year,” McCain said. “Any time we can do that to get support, it’s worth it.”

Second-grade teacher Sophia Clotfelter started the event to educate parents about the subtle symptoms of Type 1 diabetes, which include frequent urination, headaches and nausea. Her daughter, Anna Catherine, 10, was diagnosed five years ago and has to take several shots a day.

Monitoring blood sugar is a must for diabetics. So is having a network of friends and family to lean on during the bad days, Clotfelter said. The toughest times are during the night, when Anna Catherine’s blood sugar is most likely to drop to dangerous levels.

Support for those with diabetes has grown because it has become more common in the community, Clotfelter said. Anna Catherine was the only one when she was diagnosed in first grade. Five years later, four students had been diagnosed. The school also has a teacher with the disease.

An estimated 208,000 Americans under age 20 have Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Those who have adult-onset, or Type 2, diabetes produce insulin, but it’s less capable of moving sugar out of the bloodstream.

Students didn’t let the statistics get them down. They showed support for their diagnosed classmates by holding up colorful signs and shouting their names into a sunny sky.

Clotfelter said she appreciated the support.

“No one was doing the fundraiser for a prize or any other reason but to show support,” Clotfelter said. “It’s humbling to see the overwhelming love shown for these kids.”

The students honored the living and the dead. Priceville resident Nancy Bullard held back tears as one class carried a sign in memory of her son, Justin Watts, who died from diabetes complications in November 2005. The 2004 Hartselle High graduate was 20 years old.

“We need to find a cure,” Bullard said. “It warms my heart to see the support because I never asked them to honor my son. The school reached out to me.”

Priceville Easter Egg Hunt fun time for all

Friday, March 25th, 2016

From The Hartselle Enquirer
by Randy Garrison

PRICEVILLE — The Town of Priceville held their annual Easter Egg Hunt Sat., March 19, at Veterans Park. The sun was shining brightly with a cool north wind, which made for a brisk day. The crowds turned out in full force and were lined up and ready listening to instructions from Priceville Mayor Melvin Duran.

Duran gave the instructions from the top of the press box and the horn on the police car sounded for all to take off in search of eggs. The age groups were broken down into groups; 0-2 year olds hunted at the gazebo, 3-4 year olds hunted on the small ball field, 5-7 years old hunted at the large ball field and 8-10 years old hunted behind the small ball field.

Each group had fun as the horn sounded to start the hunt. Many of the younger group had a parent to go along helping them find the eggs. Some were excited to be picking up eggs to fill their baskets, while others did not seem to care one way or the other. A couple even seemed to lose interest quickly, and just sat down on the grass.

But, the parents and grandparents in attendance took full advantage of the photo time and had cameras, phones and video cameras working hard to capture the moments.

Over 200 attended the event and many waited after the hunt for a chance to meet the Easter bunny and get their photo made with him. It would seem all who attended – young and old alike – had a good time.

As a bonus, the Town of Priceville also had special eggs at the hunt as well. Many of the eggs had money inside and others had candy inside. Priceville knows how to put on an egg hunt and each one seems more successful.

Priceville’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Friday, March 18th, 2016

Priceville’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt is set for Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 2 P.M. at Veterans Park. With a rain date of March 26, 2016.

The Easter Bunny will be hopping into Veterans Park on Saturday, March 19, 2016 to help hide 4,000 candy filled eggs plus four hundred $1.00 prize eggs. The hunt will begin promptly at 2 P.M. on the grounds of Veterans Park with each of the four age groups marked. The baby group consisting of ages 0-2 year olds will be at the gazebo and may be assisted by a parent. The 3-4 year olds will be on the small ball field and the 5-7 year olds will be on the large ball field. Behind the small field on the large grassy area the 8-10 year olds will line up for the hunt.

This is a family fun event that is sponsored by the Town of Priceville Park and Recreation Board and the Town Council. Special thanks to the Fifty Plus Club for stuffing all the eggs.

Priceville’s future looks bright to Mayor Duran

Friday, January 8th, 2016

From The Hartselle Enquirer
by Clif Knight

PRICEVILLE — Priceville Mayor Melvin Duran feels good about what was accomplished in 2015 but admits that the leftovers are more than enough to keep the town’s elected officials, paid personnel and volunteers busy during 2016.

“We had a good year,” Duran pointed out. “Revenues exceeded expenditure and that left us with a nice surplus.”

Our main goal in 2016 is to continue to operate in the black and increase our surplus,” he added.

Listed as major accomplishments during the past year were:
• Initiated planning for a sports and recreation complex
• Opened a Boys and Girls Club in the old library building
• Constructed a new tennis court and basketball court in Veterans Park
• Purchased a new fire engine and made substantial improvements to the fire station on Bethel Road
• Completed a beautification project at the I-65 and Hwy. 67 interchange
• Sponsored shooter education classes with the participation of Priceville Police Department and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department
• Retired the indebtedness against the town’s sewer system

Looking to the New Year, Duran said priority would be given to making improvements in the town’s drainage infrastructure.

“Some of our drainage ditches, culverts and streets took a beating from the 7 to 8 inches of rain we had Christmas Day,” he pointed out. “Our street department is assessing damage and we’ll be busy making repairs in the days ahead. We’ll also be focused on finding ways to upgrade our drainage system and prevent problems from occurring in the future.”

“I’m also looking forward to the construction of a new sports complex,” he added. “That’s something that could be under way in 2016. I have talked with the folks at Merchants Capital in Montgomery  about floating a bond issue to finance the project. Before that’s done, however, we’ll need to get a bond rating.”

Other projects on the horizon include the completion of Marco Drive from the municipal building to River Road, a third fire station in the vicinity of the new Priceville High School and intersection improvements that will expedite traffic flow on Hwy. 67 and Bethel Road.

“We’re also working with an outside company to identify retail business prospects for Priceville,” Duran said. “We’re hopeful this partnership will bring results in 2016.”

“I believe the progress our town is making can be attributed in large part to a spirit of community team work. Elected officials, town employees, business owners, community organizations and individual volunteers are working for the common good of the town. “With that spirit continuing, I see only good things happening in Priceville in 2016.

Priceville to hold gun safety class

Friday, September 25th, 2015

From The Decatur Daily
by Leah Cayson

PRICEVILLE – The Priceville Town Council Public Safety Department will host a gun safety program from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 8.

The class will be held at the Bill Dinsmore Community Center located at 520 U.S. 67 South. Any Morgan County residents are invited to attend, and young adults must be accompanied by parents.

Gun laws, imminent danger, 911 responses, choice of weapons and ammo review are among the topics to be covered.

Attendees will be assisted in concealed weapons applications. Unloaded weapons will be inspected for unsafe conditions. Old ammunition will be collected for disposal, and free gun safety locks will be distributed.

New Priceville High set for any future growth

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

From The Decatur Daily
by Deangelo McDaniel

$23.8 million facility on schedule for August opening

PRICEVILLE – Priceville’s new high school has space for classes not currently offered and is designed to easily expand to accommodate an additional 300 students should growth occur, school leaders said.

“We’re preparing for our needs now, but we’re also looking to the future,” Superintendent Bill Hopkins Jr. said during a walk-through at the facility last week.

The 119,000-square-foot school, estimated to cost $23.8 million, is slated to open in August.

“We’re on schedule and will turn the school over to the owner in time for classes to start here next year,” said site manager Erik Kallas, of Baggette Construction.

The school, which is on 55 acres off Bethel Road near North Park, has more than 20 classrooms, including two science laboratories complete with demonstration tables where students can perform experiments.

Although Priceville does not currently offer chorus and art, the school board included rooms for those classes.

“Our curriculum is changing, and we’re looking to the future,” Hopkins said.

Morgan County, like every school district in the state, is required to make sure every student graduates “college- or career-ready.”

Most of the academic space in the school is enclosed, which allows contractors to work when the weather is bad, said Shane Bagwell, of Birmingham-based Volkert Construction. His company is supervising the project.

“We’re getting to a point where everything we have to do, except for paving and landscaping, will go fast,” Bagwell said.

In addition to two academic wings, the school has a 1,200-seat gymnasium, an auxiliary gymnasium with a stage and a $2 million athletic fieldhouse.

Hopkins said the media center will be “absolutely gorgeous” and will be a meeting area for students to gather and use their own electronic devices.

“It’s not going to be a traditional media center with a lot of shelves with library books,” he said.

This area of the school has massive windows, just like the cafeteria.

Bagwell said the school has safe rooms designed to withstand 250-mph winds.

Three years after eight students died when a tornado hit Enterprise High School in 2007, the Alabama Building Commission started requiring “mandatory safe spaces” in new K-12 public schools.

The shelters are integrated within the school, some doubling as classrooms and hallways.

Hopkins said the shelters are accessible without having to “go all through the school,” meaning they also can double as community shelters.

“This is a growing community and the community’s school,” he said.

When board members voted in July 2012 to construct the school, they cited crowding as the leading reason. Priceville’s population grew 76 percent from 2000-10 and was at 2,885, according to 2010 U.S. Census data.

Priceville Elementary, a K-5 school on Cave Springs Road, added 100 students during the growth period and is above capacity, with about 700 enrolled. The school opened in 2000 and was expanded in 2007.

The junior high and high school share a campus on Alabama 67 and have been at or near capacity since 2004.

Hopkins said the plan is to make the Alabama 67 campus a middle school for grades 5-8, which would give the elementary school more room.

The new high school is designed to house 600 students, but infrastructure will be in place to expand it for 900.

Priceville seeks multipurpose civic center

Monday, January 5th, 2015

From The Decatur Daily
by Briana Harris

PRICEVILLE – Priceville wants to build a multipurpose civic center close to the site of the town’s new high school, but doing so would mean a tax increase.

Mayor Melvin Duran said a preliminary rendering of the civic center includes four gymnasiums, a fitness center, racquetball courts, a theatrical stage, conference rooms, concessions and locker rooms in a 56,000-square-foot facility.

Duran said the original idea was to build a sports complex, but the idea grew into something more. He hopes to attract sports tournaments and other events.

“This is a vision that I’ve had for a long time,” he said. “I want our children to have the space to play their home games right here in Priceville. We need a place for them to call home.”

Duran said it will take about six months for planning and engineering, and another month to secure funds.

“We still have a lot to figure out, but I think a 2016 completion date is possible,” Duran said. “There’s a lot to be done on the financing side. We have to determine our debt limit and figure out what it would cost to operate and maintain the facility.”

The price tag is wide — $4 million to $8 million — because officials have not determined operation and maintenance costs. Duran has his eye on a parcel at the corner of River and Bethel roads, near North Park. The proposed site is near Priceville’s new high school, set to open this fall, and would be visible from Interstate 65, Duran said.

Duran said he favors a 1-cent sales tax increase to help pay for the facility. If approved by the Town Council, the extra revenue would go to debt services for the civic center. Duran said the extra penny would bring in $400,000 to $450,000 annually. Last fiscal year, the city received about $500,000 in sales tax dollars.

Priceville is the only municipality in Morgan County with an 8 percent sales tax. All others sit at 9 percent.

Councilman Tommy Perry said he believes the council would support a tax increase.

“Residents wouldn’t have to pay any more in taxes than what they already pay when they shop outside of Priceville,” Perry said.

Duran believes most residents will be supportive also.

“Parks and recreation is probably the No. 1 area where people want to see improvement,” Duran said. “When families are looking for a place to live, I want them to see that we are a growing community with a lot to offer.”

Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long said he supports the venture.

“I know that the recreation leagues in that area struggle to find practice space, so I think this would be great, not just for them, but for that entire part of the county,” Long said. “I don’t see any negatives.”

Duran said the town improved its financial standing in August when the city completed debt services for a sewer loan that required an annual payment of about $200,000. The town still owes about $75,000 on another sewer loan, which requires a $25,000 annual payment. The loan will be paid off in three years, freeing up more money to go toward the civic center, Duran said.

New Priceville library opens for business on Monday

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

From The Decatur Daily
by Jonece Dunigan

PRICEVILLE – The Priceville Public Library will open at its new location on 1612 South Bethel Road on Monday, according to librarian Paula Hensley. Operating hours will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Friday. The library is closed on Saturday and Sunday. It is also closed for lunch from 1 to 2 p.m.

The new building has been in construction since May. The project nearly tripled the size of the library from 2,000 square feet to 7,500. The facility will feature new computers, a secluded studying area and more room for the summer reading program.

Meetings

  • Town Council:
  • 2nd & 4th Mondays
    6:00 P.M.
  • Town Council Work Sessions:
  • 2nd & 4th Mondays
    5:00 P.M.
  • Park & Recreation Board:
  • 4th Monday
    6:30 P.M.
  • Planning Commission:
  • 3rd Monday
    7:00 P.M.
  • Library Board:
  • quarterly
  • Zoning Board of Adjustments:
  • per application request