By Crystal McGough
PINSON — The Pinson City Council announced at its regular meeting Thursday night that the city is prepared to move forward with the Alabama Butterbean Festival, which will be this weekend, Friday, Oct. 2 – Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. This will be the 15th annual Alabama Butterbean Festival. In compliance with Covid-19 regulations, masks and social distancing will be required by all attending.
“We do have the Butterbean Festival this weekend,” Mayor Hoyt Sanders said. “It will be a much different festival. The chamber (Clay-Pinson Chamber of Commerce) has worked very closely with the health department on the plan. The number of booths, of course, was cut in half; the booths are spaced further; masks will be required, consistent with the state order. Other than that, we hope that visitors have fun and enjoy themselves. Obviously, we will have a first aid and police presence, as always. But please do be respectful, as we will be as compliant as we possibly can be with all jurisdictional orders, including masks, while we continue to fight the Covid.”
“Hopefully we’re finally trending in the right direction, but there are (Covid-19) cases in our area, cases in Pinson that I even found out about this week,” Sanders said. “No one is immune, so please cooperate with us and we’ll have a safe and healthy festival.”
Councilor Robbie Roberts announced that the Pinson Public Library will officially be reopening to the public, after its Covid-19 shutdown, on Monday, Oct, 5, 2020. The new library hours will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday-Friday, with curbside pickup continuing to be available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“They are limiting the number of people in the building,” Roberts said. “Right now they are going to start off with 10 at a time. So, folks will check in, basically, when they arrive, and you will be limited to a one hour visit. They’ve removed all the chairs from over there, so don’t plan on getting comfortable during your hour. It’s really just to come in over there and do your own browsing and stuff.”
Roberts added that patrons will not be allowed to bring their own chairs into the library, either. The computer labs in the library will also be opening, but reservations will be required. To make a reservation, patrons can call the library.
The library will be closed Friday, Oct. 2, even for curbside pickup, due to preparations for the Butterbean Festival.
Councilor Dawn Tanner offered a motion before the council for the city to approve funds to purchase flowers and plants for beautification assistance at the Burkett Center, where some of the Rudd Middle School students will be temporarily attending school when traditional learning starts back.
“We received a request from Rudd Middle School, some beautification project,” Tanner said. “As Ronnie Dixon, school board member, reported last meeting, Rudd Middle School students are splitting when those that want to be in the traditional learning start back, and part of them are going to the Burkett Center over in Ketona.
“The mayor went and met with the county over there, and they did do some painting of flower boxes, and did some cleaning up of the classrooms and all that, but they still want the city to help with some plants and flowers and stuff like that.”
Tanner said that she would think the cost to the city would be less than $250. The motion passed unanimously.
During the mayor’s report, city attorney Shane Black explained the city’s new ordinance regarding the elimination of debris and rubbish that causes a nuisance in the city.
“As y’all know, you’ve had an ‘unsafe structures’ ordinance in place for several years that plays off an Alabama statute that allows the city to go onto property where there is a house … that is unsafe, about to fall down,” Black said. “Y’all are able to send a notice to the person who is there that y’all consider that to be a public nuisance. They have an opportunity to come up here and have a hearing in front of y’all. That’s happened several times. Then ultimately, if the council decides that’s a public nuisance, the city, through its own forces or through contractors, can go onto that property and tear down that house, and then take the cost of it and assess it back against the property.
“What this is is a smaller version of the same kind of approach. It is for properties that have junk and litter. Y’all remember, you adopted this ordinance in August; one of your August council meetings. Well, this is the first case since then where it seems like it could be applicable: there is a place at 453 Heritage (Place). It is a house that (Director of Public Safety Bob Jones) has identified that has an excessive amount of litter and junk and debris. And I don’t mean just a little bit either; I mean an excessive amount of it. … It is a candidate for this kind of process.”
Black said that a formal notice will go out to the person who owns the property at 453 Heritage Place and a hearing before the city council will be scheduled and posted in accordance with the law. If the council finds that it is a public nuisance that hasn’t been remedied, the council can order it cleaned up and the cost of the cleanup will be assessed back against the property owners.
In other city business, the council unanimously passed the following resolutions and ordinances:
- Resolution 20-48, declaring a public nuisance relating to overgrown grass and weeds at 5727 Hickory Court
- Ordinance 2020-17, changing the zoning classification of real estate located in the city of Pinson from Jefferson County A1 to City of Pinson District AG (Agriculture)
In addition to the Alabama Butterbean Festival, the city of Pinson has the following events coming up:
- Nov. 11, 2020 — Veteran’s Day (drive-thru)
- Oct, 17, 2020 — Shred A Thon
The next meeting of the Pinson City Council will be Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, at Pinson City Hall. The regular council meeting begins at 7 p.m., following a pre-council meeting at 6:30 p.m.