Franklin Free Press
The Phil Campbell town council hopes to make a splash in the community with this past Saturday’s opening of the Phil Campbell Splash Pad. The new facility is located at the Phil Campbell Community Center, on the same spot that housed the former city pool that was destroyed in the April 27, 2011 tornado.
Nelda Moss was hired as the facility’s part-time summer manager. The splash pad’s hours of operation are expected to be 12-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The pad will be available evenings from 6-8 p.m. for parties and private rentals. It will be closed on Sundays.
At its May 20 meeting, the town council set a fee of $100 for private rental, with an additional $25 refundable deposit. Admission will be $1 per guest, though the council voted to forego any fee for the pad’s first week of operation.
Phil Campbell received grant funding that allowed construction of the splash pad, a pavilion and a playground. Plans also call for a concession area and restroom building, but mayor Steve Bell said funding for those additions was not available at this time.
“The concession area and restrooms are not complete, but we hope they’ll be done by next year,” Bell said.
The council voted to rent two portable toilets, including a handicapped accessible toilet, for the summer.
Bell updated the status in Phil Campbell Industrial Park of the Montgomery Industries project, indicating that walls for the 81,000-square-foot building should be erected soon. The issue of annexing the PC Industrial Park into city limits remains unsettled. Bell said he’s had ongoing discussions with realtor Dewayne Crumley on behalf of the landowner, but no agreement has been reached.
Crumley, whose client Sims Bark, Inc., owns the land between the city limits and the industrial park, said company officials have “turned down” options to annex into Phil Campbell so far. Becoming part of the city would offer improved fire and police protection and possibly lower insurance rates, but Crumley said his clients see no justification for the extra taxes and costs they would incur.
Bell, though, remains optimistic.
“I still think we can come to some resolution with this issue,” Bell said.
Construction of the Montgomery facility is expected to be complete by August, according to a company spokesman.
In other action, the council:
—Appointed Matt Smith to the Park and Recreation Board.
—Appointed Howard Hutcheson as the mayor’s appointment to the Housing Authority Board.
—Received an update on the imminent demolition of eight structures damaged by the tornado. The town received a grant through Disaster Relief Funds to demolish the properties. Addresses set for demolition and cleanup include: 1244 Pike Ave., 1622 Pike Ave., 63 McClung St., 487 McClung St., 3140 Hwy. 237, 50 Weeks St., 106 Weeks St., 185 Weeks St. and 151 McClung St.