Bessemer’s first-ever safe room is on the way. The Bessemer City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018 authorized Mayor Kenneth Gulley to enter into a contract with Coston General Contractors for the construction of a Community Safe Room and an Emergency Operations Center E911 safe room in the event of inclement weather. The safe room will be built at the Bessemer Police Department’s Emergency Operations Center at 651 Ninth Avenue  SW. Construction should begin in about 60 days. The project is expected to cost about $579,000. Seventy-five percent of the cost for the community safe room will come from funding provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. The remaining 25 percent of the safe room cost and the entire cost for EOC safe room project will come from the city’s E911 fund. The safe room is the first in Bessemer, but city officials are hopeful of constructing others. Mayor Kenneth Gulley said he would like to identify sources of funding to build other safe rooms in other parts of Bessemer. The city has been hit by tornadoes in the past, the most recent storms being the EF2 storm of 2014 and the storm that damaged houses in Greenwood in 2016. The safe room at the EOC location will hold up to 100 people, but could hold more if needed, said city engineer Ron Gilbert. The E911 safe room will hold police and fire emergency operations in the event of damage to the main EOC building. Mayor Gulley said the community safe room can also serve as a warming station in the event of extreme cold weather in the city and a conference room. “We’re excited to start construction on the city’s first storm shelter,” Gulley said. “Currently, when we have inclement weather, we have no place for our residents to shelter. This will finally provide that shelter for our residents and provide a safe place for our emergency personnel so that they can continue working as well.” In other action during the meeting, the Council approved an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a Feasibility Phase Study on the Valley Creek Watershed. The study will look at ways to alleviate flooding in the watershed, such as the flooding in Bessemer’s Pipe Shop Community. The study is expected to last three years and public participation will be conducted by the Corp of Engineers. The study will be paid for entirely with federal funding. The city has currently set aside funding in the general budget to assist with a buy-out program for homes in the flood zoned areas of Pipe Shop. Mayor Gulley said he wants the program to continue in spite of the study efforts. The Council also authorized the Mayor to enter into an agreement with Video Industrial Services, Inc. for repairs to a damaged culvert along Greenmoor Drive.

  Say goodbye to summer and hello to Alabama Splash Adventure’s 1st Annual Fall Festival!

Alabama Splash Adventure will turn the amusement ride section into a festive fall playground every Saturday and Sunday in October from 12-6pm. Expect a day of family fun that will include full access to over 15 amusement park rides, fall themed activities including hay rides, corn maze, pumpkin art, candied apples, and much more! Be sure to leave your bathing suit at home because the Water Park will be closed during the Fall Festival.

Different events will be featured every weekend inside the park including free unlimited Pepsi drinks and free parking. A Car Show will kick off the first weekend in October that will include a variety of classic, antique, custom, and race cars. Arts and Craft Show will be October 13th and 14th. Local live music acts will be performing October 20th & 21st n the Pepsi Amphitheater. Halloween High Dive Show October 27th and 28th will include 75 feet high dives. Expect fun for the entire family!

 Season Passes for 2018 and 2019 are valid for entry. General Admission tickets can be purchased at the front gate or online at 2 and under are free.

Owners of Alabama Splash Adventure, Dan Koch and his Mom Pat Koch also called “The General” have owned the park since 2014. This summer the Park received the largest expansion in history and had a record breaking season attendance. Alabama Splash Adventure has received a series of positive rankings over the years. The Rampage has been ranked as one of the 25 wooden coasters in the world. In 2017, Alabama Splash Adventure was chosen as one of the top five friendliest parks in the world by readers of Amusement Today, a national amusement industry news leader. The park was named as one of the best theme park values in the USA by MSN News.

Owner Dan Koch says “We will build upon these honors. We are definitely moving in the right direction. Thank you guests, team members and the great state of Alabama.” For more information, Contact Alabama Splash Adventure at 205-481-4750. Or visit or find them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.