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Council approves zoning amendment, timber sale

Jodi James talks about Relay for Life. Chief Chuck Brooks seen in background.

News Staff Writer

Atmore City Council members, during their June 12 meeting, gave final approval to a zoning map amendment, agreed to sell the timber off a city-owned property and approved several events at local parks and other sites.
Prior to approval of the zoning change, a public hearing was held to seek comments for or against the move. No member of the public spoke up, but Codes Enforcement Officer Chris Black provided information about the amendment and the property it affects.
“This amendment was recommended by the Planning Commission back in March,” Black said. “It was advertised in the newspapers, and we sent letters to all the property owners within 300 feet. There were no objections.”
He said the amended zoning ordinance would change the zoning designation for property on Presley Street, directly behind Atmore Baptist Temple, from R-1 (residential) to B2 (general business).
Mayor Jim Staff told council members the city was getting a good deal from the timber — located “in the west industrial site,” to be cut by Atmore Timber Inc.
“It’s scraggly, but we got a good price on it,” said Staff, who did not divulge the contract price. “Our lawyer said it was a good price. We tried to get it cut once before, but we couldn’t do it because there just wasn’t anything there. Now that they (Atmore Timber) are cutting the timber behind it, they will cut this, too.”
After a first reading of the minimum standards required by the Federal Aviation Administration for Atmore Municipal Airport, the matter was tabled. Final approval is expected at the next council meeting, set for 4 p.m. Monday, June 26.
In other business, the council:
*Approved the use of the “Boxcar Willie” site for a revival of Relay For Life, which was reportedly last held here in 2012. The event is set for Saturday, September 30, at 5:30 p.m. A survivors’ brunch is set for that morning at Brooks Memorial Baptist Church. Jodi James, who organized a committee to bring the annual American Cancer Society fundraiser back to the community, said the committee “would go completely live on Facebook” immediately to help get the word out.
*Approved the closing of Patterson Street, just off North Main, for the third annual Patterson Street Fun Day, scheduled to take place Saturday, August 19. The event is a collaborative effort of City Council Member Eunice Johnson (District 3), Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks, Atmore Fire Chief Ron Peebles and Escambia County Sheriff Heath Jackson.
The day of fun includes food for all attendees, bouncy houses, numerous games and giveaways, and more. Donations will be accepted to help fund the celebration.
*Approved a Juneteenth Celebration at the Cornelia Elmore Library Memorial on Martin Luther King Drive at noon next Monday, June 19. Music, refreshments and more will be provided.
*Tabled a request from Jonathan Thompson for a discounted event license for local radio-controlled drag racer enthusiasts, who plan to hold local competitions every two weeks on the Rivercane property behind Taco Bell. The city currently has no provisions for discounted special events licenses, and that has to be considered before the green light is given to the proposal.
*Approved an amended request from Bradley Woods to hold the Southeast Grudge Fest RC Car Race, a “pretty good-sized” event that is expected to include more than 150 racers, on July 21, 22 and 23. He dropped his initial request that the event include vendors when he was informed that each would have to purchase a $1,100 special event license and would have to have an Alabama sales tax number.
*Approved the use of Houston Avery Park for the annual Back to School Bash, during which back packs and other school supplies are given to youngsters and food is provided for all attendees. Brandon Tanner noted that the end-of-summer event, set for Saturday, July 22, was held at Heritage Park last year, but Houston Avery has more room for the popular water slide.
“We ask the community to help with this event,” Tanner said. “This is so kids won’t go back to school lacking. It will be a fun day before school starts, and we will share the love of Jesus.”