By Crystal McGough
PINSON — At the regularly scheduled meeting of the Pinson City Council on Thursday, March 19, the council gave updates on opening dates and guidelines for the splash pad at Bicentennial Park.
“We, along with some other sister cities, are looking to open the splash pad July 1,” Mayor Hoyt Sanders said. “We will not rent the party room, due to the social distancing requirements. We will be looking at possibly some other items such as half-day – most people don’t stay the full day, anyway – but we will be looking at things to keep our residents and guests safe as absolutely possible, in accords with health department guidelines. We will have a further update on that by Facebook or at our next meeting, certainly in time for the (Fourth of July) weekend.”
Additionally, Sanders announced that the storm shelter in Palmerdale is now complete and the city council will hold it’s next regular meeting, on July 2, at the shelter. The council meeting will begin at 7 p.m., as usual.
“Our storm shelter in Palmerdale is complete,” Sanders said. “We still do have punch list items with the architect, or punch list inspection with the architect and FEMA, but we certainly don’t anticipate anything. What we’re looking to do is have our meeting July 2 actually at the shelter. There’s not internet available there, so we will either have to film or perhaps do a synopsis by Facebook the next day.”
Sanders said that the council had originally planned to hold the June 18 meeting at the storm shelter, but had to change the plans due to a public hearing.
“… we had an item that requires a public hearing and we don’t typically like to do those away from council chamber here,” he said. “If there’s a public hearing and public business, this, of course, is where the public expects to come.”
The hearing was in regards to extending the demolition deadline for a piece of property located at 2812 Sweeney Hollow Circle. The property was recently purchased and the new owner asked the city for time to bring it up to code, with plans to make it his primary residence.
“Before us tonight, we have a hearing to extend the demolition deadline at 2812 Sweeney Hollow Circle, which is a house that had fallen into significant disrepair,” Sanders said. “We went through court procedures – matter of fact, received a court order – but in the meantime, the owner had a contract and has closed.”
During the hearing, Director of Public Safety Bob Jones gave the council a report on the situation.
“They closed approximately a week ago to a person that lives nearby that wants to make it his primary residence,” Jones said. “He immediately went out and boarded up the area that was open to the elements, and at that time was inquiring about a permit. As of yesterday, we received a payoff to what would have been placed on there as a weed lean. They also gave us a letter that, I don’t exactly recall how the attorneys worded it, but it’s a memorandum understanding that we’re in this position and that we’re only extending to him to allow him to try to make amends to the situation that exists. So, he’s been very cordial and cooperative, and plans to make it his primary residence.”
No one else came to the hearing to speak for or against the extension, and the hearing ended with the unanimous passing of Resolution 20-23, granting the extension of the deadline until Sept. 14.
Center Point Fire Chief Gene Coleman spoke before the council concerning firework safety during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.
“Fireworks are always an issue, especially in dry conditions,” Coleman said. “You need to make sure that you don’t shoot them within 600 feet of your house, no smoking around them, and don’t pick them up if they didn’t go off. Let them sit there and, after a while, put them in a bucket of water and make sure they’re good and out.”
Sanders added that the code says fireworks cannot be shot within 600 feet of any enclosed structure.
“That implies a house, a school, a barn, a business,” Sanders said.
Coleman advised that parents need to make sure children are supervised when around fireworks, and animals need to be made secure.
“Fireworks are dangerous,” he said. “People get injured, houses get destroyed, lives are changed forever. We discourage the use of them. I know they’re pretty. We would recommend that, if possible, go to a local event. It doesn’t matter where, but go to an organized event like we do here at the Butterbean Festival and celebrate that way, because those are professionals that have invested time and the equipment to do it properly.”
The next meeting of the Pinson City Council will be on Thursday, July 2, 2020, at 7 p.m., at the storm shelter next to the Palmerdale Homestead Community Center and Palmerdale Fire District Station 1.