City of Valley looking to sell 10.5 acres

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, May 11, 2022

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VALLEY — The Valley City Council on Monday held the first reading of an ordinance to sell 10.5 acres of city-owned property to build a 110-unit senior apartment complex near the junction of King Road and 55th Street.

The ordinance could be approved following a second reading at the next council meeting May 23.

The 10.5-acre site is in two adjoining parcels. Bennett Company LLC has agreed to pay $142,500 for one site and $120,000 for the second one. Construction could start next spring. Phase One will consist of 56 units and could take approximately one year to complete. Phase Two construction will start when Phase One is finished. It will have 54 units and will take another year to build.

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Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) money will be involved in the construction. A water line has been put in to serve the complex, and a new sewer line is on the way.

The site was recently rezoned from R-5 to R-6 (multi-family residential).

In other business, a second reading was held on an ordinance to sell 4.689 acres of city-owned property to A. Sharma PP LLC for $242,375. The action was approved in a unanimous vote. The site is located where Burney Road will intersect with Fob James Drive. Burney Road is now under construction. Public Works Director Patrick Bolt reported to the council that progress was being made on this project. A new water line is coming in from 55th Street, dirt has been hauled to the site and the curbs and gutters would soon be going in. The site that’s been sold to Sharma would be an ideal site for a business such as a convenience store or restaurant.

A first reading was held on an amendment to the city’s present International Property Code ordinance. This would bring the widely-recognized 2006 standards to those of 2015. Planning and Development Director Travis Carter told the council that this would be a good move for the city. The 2015 codes, he said, would help expedite the removal of nuisance properties. These codes are much more specific on how a structure must be boarded up to prevent action to take it down. Unless it’s done by the book and not in a sloppy, haphazard way, the city can take action to clean up the site. Simply boarding up a vacant house won’t keep it from being torn down and the lot cleaned up. It has to be boarded up in the manner spelled out in the 2015 International Property Codes.

“It will give (Code Enforcement Officer) Reid Riley more power to move on dilapidated houses,” Carter said.

The proposed ordinance could be enacted following a second reading on May 23.

A two-item consent agenda was approved in a unanimous vote. This action includes declaring some Valley Police Department weapons to be surplus, permitting them to be sold according to municipal policy and state law. The weapons are no longer needed because the department has newer weapons. Those now on surplus include 22 Glock 45-caliber pistols, four Glock 9-millimeter pistols, three AR Bushmaster 223-caliber rifles, one Ruger Mini-14 223-caliber rifle, two Mossberg 12-gauge shotguns and eight Benelli 12-gauge shotguns.

The second consent agenda item is a grant application for a new bus for the Valley Senior Center.

Travis Carter updated the council on the city’s junk vehicle ordinance, which has been in effect for close to one year. In that time, a total of 242 vehicles were tagged for removal. Some 226 of those vehicles were removed in the allotted time by the owners; the remaining ones were hauled away by the city.

Patrick Bolt recommended to the council that the electronic waste recycling portion of Valley Clean-Up Day be cut back from two days to one. Participation is way down from where it was in 2017 when 33,810 pounds of unwanted electronic items were recycled, and 2018, when over 20,000 pounds were collected. Those numbers have been approximately 13,000 pounds or less the last two years. The numbers are remaining about the same when it comes to old tires being brought in for recycling. A total of 321 of them were brought in this year.

Valley Parks and Recreation Director Laurie Blount told the council that her department is well into tournament season, and participation has been really good. A three-day senior men’s softball tournament will be taking place this coming weekend. It’s for men who are 50 years of age and older. Lots of teams will be playing in it.

“Our Farmers’ Market got started last Friday,” Blount said. “We had five vendors for our first market of the season, and we’d like to have more.”

Any east Alabama farmer interested in coming to the Farmers’ Market can call Blount at the Community Center at (334) 756-5290 for details.

Blount asked people to be aware of a scam that’s taking place. Someone online is seeking entry fees for an unauthorized event at Valley Sportsplex.

“There’s no planned event for this,” Blount said.

It’s for girls in the 10-15 and 16 and 17 age groups.

Several members of the council told Mayor Leonard Riley that they had been getting complaints from residents of their districts about dogs running loose. According to a city ordinance, dogs must be kept in fenced-in areas or on leashes. The owner is responsible if they are running free in a neighborhood. Council Member Randall Maddux said that a woman in his district had told him that she’s been bitten by one of these dogs.

“We need to get a handle on this,” he said.

Council Member Jimmy Gilson said he’d recently seen three wandering dogs under his carport.

Council Member Jim Clark said he was still getting complaints about a residence on 29th Boulevard. City Attorney John Ben Jones told him the city has to go through circuit court to get something done about this. It could take several weeks to get this resolved, he said.

Council Member Jim Jones said he is continuing to get complaints about trash pickups being late. Planning & Development Director Carter said his office gets complaints on this almost every day.

“They are still having problems getting the help they need to do this,” he said.

“Is the city satisfied with the job being done by AmWaste?” Jones asked the mayor.

“No,” Riley replied, “and we haven’t been since they have had the service.”

“We should look at other options,” Jones said.