By Lee Weyhrich
Revitalizing and improving Pinson’s Main Street is a top concern, the Pinson City Council announced Thursday.
The council voted to purchase the property at 4286 Main St., formerly the Pinson Valley Flea Market, at a cost of $36,000. The property will likely be demolished and turned into a “pocket park,” a small urban green space.
Much of downtown Pinson is in a FEMA-identified flood prone area, which means options are somewhat limited for building improvements. According to Mayor Hoyt Sanders, buildings in a flood plain may only be renovated or improved up to 50 percent.
“We have several buildings that cannot be renovated because of the flood plain,” Councilman Joe Cochran said.
This property is one of them.
“It is always sad to see blight removed,” Cochran said, adding that looking out for the downtown area is a continued effort.
Sonya Norris, owner of the nearby Sonya’s Stuff, asked the council if additional parking couldn’t be added instead.
“I’m looking out for Main Street, too,” Norris said
There are times when all parking is taken up, she said. She also brought up the danger of backing into the fast moving traffic of Main Street.
Sanders said the council would take it under consideration, but he will not know if there would be enough space to safely add parking until after the building is removed. Palmerdale Homesteads Community Center has asked for help with parking as well. The center paid to have six loads of gravel spread around the parking lot. In recent years, many areas have become muddy and uneven. PHCC asked the council for $2,000 to cover the cost of an additional four loads of gravel so the parking lot could be completed properly.
While PHCC will no longer have to worry about its parking lot washing away, it’s still waiting on a resolution for the leaking roof. Bids were received earlier this year for a new metal roof for the center, and one was accepted. The winning bidder, however, was not able to meet all the requirements.
The council asked for new bids with the stipulation that the bids are not to exceed $50,000. The law requires fewer requirements on job bids below that threshold.
“A couple of the original bidders have rebid,” Sanders said.
He hopes to have a recommendation to present to the council at the next meeting, which has been moved from July 4 to July 2 in observance of the holiday.
City employees will have something else to celebrate for Independence Day — pay raises. City Clerk/Treasurer Marie Turner will receive an additional $2 per hour, the mayor’s assistant Angie May will receive $1.50 more per hour and Zoning Coordinator Bob Jones will receive an additional $1 per hour.
Along with the recently approved vacation package, the council is doing this to show their appreciation, Cochran said.
“The last raise that was given was in November 2010,” Councilman John Churchwell said.
Plans for the new city park were tabled until the next meeting.