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Jemison dedicates municipal complex

By Justin Averette

Jemison leaders and citizens got together Sunday to celebrate their community and dedicate its new municipal complex.

Hundreds of peopled turned out for the 2 p.m. event, which mistress of ceremony and District Court Judge Rhonda Hardesty called “a very special occasion for the city of Jemison and its citizens.”

Jemison Mayor Eddie Reed said the new, 18,000-square-foot complex reflects a “shared vision and sacrifice.”

The mayor said the complex is dedicated first to God and then Jemison’s citizens.

“This truly is the people’s building,” Reed said.

Reed said city workers completed 85 percent of the work done on the complex, saving “the city great sums of money.”

The ceremony started with the presentation of the flag and Pledge of Allegiance by Boy Scout Troop 773.

Jemison High School’s Blue Regiment band also participated in the program, playing the National Anthem; I’m Proud to be an American; and God Bless America at different times. Patti Hamm Beam also sang “How Great Thou Art.”

The Rev. Rex Kent, pastor of Jemison First Baptist Church, lead the dedication, which ended with everyone repeating the following: “We do, in all sincerity, with love for God our creator and with an attitude of servitude, we, the citizens and all elected officials of the city of Jemison do hereby dedicate this building for all mankind, do gratefully dedicated this building.”

Reed offered thanks to several Jemison employees and elected leaders, both past and present, as well as other individuals, like project manager Shannon Welch, who played vital roles in the building’s construction.

“They all work out of the goodness of their hearts,” Reed said.

Perhaps the afternoon’s greatest honor was given to Morris E. Padgett, who sold the city the property, on which his empty ACE Hardware store once sat. Reed announced the city was renaming Union Grove Road to Padgett Lane.

Following the ceremony inside, a ribbon cutting was held in front of the building. Those in attendance then enjoyed refreshments and the music of Stomps Hill while touring the complex.