Clanton Council approves pursuing land purchase

Published 8:33 pm Monday, October 12, 2020

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Clanton Council approved pursuing the purchase of an undisclosed piece of property during a meeting on Oct. 12.

Interstate 65, Exit 212 was mentioned in discussions as a possible location, but an exact property was not given. Neither was a price.

Mayor Bobby Cook explained that the price would be disclosed at a later Council meeting.

The motion passed 3 to 1. Council members Awlahjaday Agee, Jeff Price and Mary Mell Smith voted in favor. Councilman Sammy Wilson voted against.

Prior to the vote, Industrial Development Authority member Bob Woods said the Authority had not been a part of the process.

“This is the first I have heard of this,” he said. “Shouldn’t the board (authority) have the opportunity to vet this?”

He said that the Authority exists to get information for the Council.

“We serve at the discretion of the Council and the mayor but also to report back to the council and make recommendations,” Woods said.

Wilson said it was his understanding that this is why the Clanton Council had appointed four people to the Authority.

Woods had several questions about the land, whether studies had been completed and how it could financially impact city finances.

A motion to go into executive session to discuss these issues died for lack of a second.

While the Master Plan for the Interstate 65, Exit 212 does include recommendations for the city to purchase some land, it is unknown if the land in question is one of these parcels. Woods said he did not know which property the city was looking into.

Cook told The Clanton Advertiser after the meeting that pursuing purchasing the land was recommended by the real estate company that the city had hired as a part of the overall Master Plan process. Daniel Communities, LLC was selected to help the city acquire properties around the intersection of Highway 145 and Interstate 65.

In the same meeting, the Council approved “engaging Walter Lewis (of Piper Sanders) for any future bond issue” that might be needed. Lewis has worked with the city before. No specific plans or projects were mentioned.

Also during the voting session, the Council:

  • Approved donating outdated turnout gear to a local volunteer fire department that wanted it. A letter from the volunteer department accepting all liability for the equipment being outdated will be required. Clanton Fire Chief David Driver said a department had approached him about purchasing the old gear. The recommendation is for turnout gear to be replaced after 7 years and the pants and jackets in question were this old. Wilson had asked if the gear could simply be donated.
  • Approved disposing of outdated air tanks from the fire department.
  • Heard from Velma Tinsley expressing concerns about gunshots in the West End neighborhood. She said efforts need to be made, possibly through a neighborhood liaison from the Clanton Police Department, to create trust of police officers in the community. Tinsley said this would help people feel safe to tell what they know about incidents.
  • Accepted resignations from a fire fighter and a police officer.
  • Paid the bills.