Jemison council votes to close portion of Bibb StreetBy Emily Reed Published 8:01pm Monday, February 18, 2013
The Jemison City Council voted Monday to close a portion of Bibb Street to help with a drop-off point for the Son Light center.
Councilmen heard a report from Wayne Cole, a representative of Son Light center, a local food shelter in Jemison for men, women and children who have hit hard times financially.
Cole said he wanted to get the word out about the shelter after learning that many people in the community do not know the business is open.
“We have been open for eight years and I still come across people who don’t even know we are open,” Cole said. “On average, we feed about 1,200 families in Alabama with food that we receive.”
Although Cole said many residents in Jemison do not require the assistance the center provides, there are many throughout Alabama who travel to Jemison to receive the perishable food items Son Light offers for those in need.
Cole said he wanted the council to consider closing a portion of the street near the center due to large 18-wheelers coming through to load and unload food on a daily basis.
Mayor Eddie Reed said a portion of the street was closed many years ago due to a day care open on the street but the day care closed and the street had been reopened.
Reed told council members he had visited the center and thought it would be important to close a portion of the road due to many cars coming to the center creating congestion on a public street.
Councilman James “Jim” Henderson said he didn’t mind closing a portion of the street for the center but told Cole current conditions of the center were “messy” and he didn’t want to create an eyesore for the community of Jemison.
“If you drive by the center right now it looks bad,” Henderson said. “I don’t mind closing a portion of the street but I would hope that area would be kept clean.”
Councilman Rex Bittle echoed Henderson’s statement and wanted Cole to know that the street would not become private property.
Cole said the center did not want to be a bad neighbor and would work to make sure the area around the center was kept clean.
Reed asked Jemison Police Chief Shane Fulmer if he had any problems with a portion of the street being closed.
Fulmer said he didn’t have a preference either way but a decision needed to be made due to some complaints from residents noticing vehicles parked in the middle of the road.
Reed told the council no residents lived on the street but people visiting the center often caused traffic to get congested.
The council made a motion to close a portion of Bibb Street from the alley to Second Street and will schedule a public hearing that will determine the street closure.
The council voted to approve a resolution approving Reed and council to declare emergency actions and powers under emergency situations for the city.
Reed told the council in the event of an emergency such as a natural disaster, the city would be prepared to deal with such disasters.
“This resolution makes sure that in the event of something happening, we would be prepared to make decisions for the city,” Reed said. “It gives the go ahead to protect the lives and property of those in Jemison.”
The council approved an ordinance levying a privilege or license tax against anyone engaged in the business of selling tangible person property at retail or places of amusement providing for the collection of the taxes in Jemison.