City council approves industrial land swap

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A land swap approved by the Troy City Council will help facilitate the growth of two businesses in Troy, the mayor said Tuesday.

Council members gave their approval to a proposal presented by Mayor Jimmy Lunsford to allow the city to swap 3 acres of land in the new industrial park on U.S. 231 South for more than 11 acres of land in the old industrial park off the Henderson Highway.

The 11-plus acre plot currently is owned by Steven Ward of Ward Wooodworks in the Needmore community. Lunsford said Ward has agreed to swap the city that land for a much smaller plot in the new industrial park. “The land value is roughly equal,” Lunsford said.

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In turn, the city will sell the 11-acre plot to a developer who is working with Advance Disposal to open a regional headquarters in Troy. “They’re eager to move out on this,” Lunsford told the council during the work session. “They’ve been operating at a temporary facility in Luverne, but they plan to move to Troy.”

Marsha Gaylard, president of the Pike County Economic Development Authority, said Advance Disposal plans to make Troy a regional headquarters for its waste collection service. “They’re anticipating 20 jobs in the first year but, because they’re working to grow their business regionally, that could have 50 or 60 jobs within three years.”

Lunsford said once the city transfers to the deed to Ward, he will have 24 months to construct his facility and open his business in the industrial park.

The council will address an ordinance to formally approve the land transfer at its Nov. 8 meeting, Lusnford said.

In other business on Tuesday, the council:

• Recognized the winners of the Red Ribbon Week Essay Contest. Hayes Lee, an eighth-grader at Pike Liberal Arts School, won first place and read his essay to the audience.

• Approved an amendment to the flood damage prevention ordinance that brings city ordinance in line with FEMA standards.

• Approved an ordinance changing a line item in the CDBG application for the senior nutrition center construction.

• Approved a change order allowing the addition of $31,000 of audiovisual and technological equipment in the public meeting room at the new Troy City Library. “We’ll have an 11-foot display screen; iPod, iPhone and iPad docks; a projector; a wireless PA and receiver; and a box on the wall that allows you to push a button and have the shades and equipment automatically set for whatever your use may be,” said William White, library director. “And the best part is the library is paying for this (not the city).”

• Approved an application for the library project in the 2012 Municipal Quality of Life Awards.

• Heard a request from Maranda Johnston of Potreros Night Club to allow her club to serve draft beer. She cited the fact that no establishments in Troy currently sell draft beer and that the city is loosing revenue and sales to outside communities.

“I’ll tell you this,” Lunsford said. “You’re the first person to ever come before the city council and ask for permission to sell draft beer. I’ve heard a lot of people complain about it during the years, but no one has ever come before the council”

Lunsford told Johnston and the council that the city does not have the legal authority to approve draft beer sales, since alcohol sales began in the city prior to Sept.1, 1980. However, he said Johnston could petition the state lawmakers to enter a bill into the Alabama Legislature approving the sale of draft beer in Troy, since the approval would require a local private act of the Legislature.

“The law says you would need a petition signed by 30 percent of the registered voters who participated in the last election,” Lunsford said. “We had 451 voters, so that means you’d need a petition with 135 names of registered voters.”