Hanceville High taps Talley building for indoor softball practice

Feb. 13—HANCEVILLE — Hanceville's Rayford Talley Building has found a new use, after the city council voted Feb. 8, to lease the recently empty structure, at minimal cost, to Hanceville High School as an indoor practice venue for the school's softball team.

The agreement isn't meant to make the city any money; rather, it's a way for the city to offer the school a unique accommodation that the softball team previously didn't have, and couldn't afford on its own. Located near the Hanceville Civic Center on Dean Avenue, the building "would be perfect for us," said junior varsity and assistant varsity softball coach Roxie Lee, and "will be utilized [by the team] on a weekly basis — pretty much 12 months out of the year."

The building, said Lee, will give the 25-member team of students, who range in ages from grades 7-12, an indoor area to hold batting practice, with coaches supervising all on-site activity. Though financial terms of the one-year lease weren't specified during the council meeting, council members agreed that the cost should be nominal, and that leasing the space is intended as a helpful service to the school; not as a means for earning the city any revenue.

In other business at its regular meeting, the council:

* Appointed Hanceville resident Kenneth Cornelius to fill the Place 5 seat on the city council. The seat has been vacant since former councilmember Jimmy Sawyer left the position, after being appointed by the council in January to fill the vacant mayor's position.

* Named council member Kim Brown as mayor pro-tem, a designation previously held by former councilmember Sawyer. Brown herself abstained from the otherwise-unanimous roll call council vote.

* Ratified a series of new street name designations on the campus of Wallace State Community College, a change intended to expedite emergency response activity at the campus.

* Declared surplus a deployment trailer previously used by the police department, specifying that proceeds previously applied to the equipment to be returned to the city's General Fund. The council also authorized the future purchase of two patrol vehicles to be used by the police department.

* Declared surplus a 2022 Ford F-150 pickup truck previously used by the mayor's office, and authorized Sawyer to replace it with another City Hall vehicle.

* Held a first reading for a ordinance proposing the annexation of 22.6 acres into the city limits, setting a 5:30 p.m. public hearing for March 14 before considering the annexation proposal further.

* Approved an emergency dispatch radio agreement between the city and the Cullman County Sheriff's Office.

* Announced the city's support for the current United Way food drive, which runs from Feb. 9-16. A food donation box has been placed near the main entrance at city hall; residents are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items at the box at their leisure throughout the food drive's duration.

* Approved the minutes of the council's Jan. 25 regular meeting.

* The next regular council meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 15 in the council meeting room at Hanceville City Hall. A 5 p.m. public work session will precede the meeting at the same location.

Benjamin Bullard can be reached by phone at 256-734-2131 ext. 234.