By Nathan Prewett, For The Tribune
IRONDALE – Several locals were honored at a meeting of the Irondale Council on Tuesday, Dec. 20, where they also rejected a proposal to locate a medical cannabis dispensing site.
Mayor James Stewart Jr. read proclamations for two residents, beginning with Dr. William Weber, a veterinarian who practiced at Eastwood Animal Clinic. He died on Oct. 18, shortly before his 85th birthday. He co-founded the Alabama Animal Adoption Society and helped establish Alabama Spay and Neuter Clinic.
He was particularly known for his efforts in reducing pet overpopulation through spaying and neutering, as well as for the treatment of wildlife.
“He compassionately treated innumerable pets that might never have received treatment otherwise,” Stewart read from the proclamation.
His wife, Linda, was present to hear the proclamation. Stewart told her there would be an animal event in April 2023 in Weber’s name. She expressed her thanks to the council and to everyone who helped her and her husband.
Afterward, Pastor Robert McAdory and his wife Dorothy were dressed in Christmas reds. He has served as pastor of Faith Missionary Baptist in Bessemer for 28 years. He will retire on Dec. 31 this year. He and Dorothy have three children.
McAdory was licensed to gospel ministry by Rev. J. P. Parnell of Mt. Hebron Baptist Church in Irondale in 1981. He attended Howard College Divinity School and earned a certificate in Christian training from Samford University, as well as a Baptist degree from the Birmingham Baptist College.
McAdory gave his thanks for the proclamation and spoke about his love for the city.
“I love Irondale,” he said. “Irondale is small, but just because it’s small doesn’t mean it’s insignificant. This is a great city.”
The council then announced the winners of the Holiday House Showdown, which is a competition of decorated houses. These were: Kim McDanal from District 1, Ratus Johnson from District 2, Joshua Brasseale from District 3, and Cora Holtbrooks from District 4, who was not present at the meeting.
Afterward, Sen. Linda Coleman came to the meeting to present a $5,000 check to the city for a new sign.
“These funds will be used to replace the sign at the entrance of the city of Irondale,” Stewart said. “We will replace that sign that has been inoperable since probably 10 years. We currently have $25,000 that we raised.”
He added that Commissioner Joe Knight has donated money and that the goal is to raise $65,000 to complete the project.
After passing the consent agenda, attention turned to an ordinance to establish a medical cannabis dispensary site, brought up by Councilman Aaron Sims. The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission has been accepting applications for licenses to open dispensaries, with a deadline for the end of the year.
Speaking in favor of authorizing the ordinance were presenters Patrick Hogan and Linda Peacock, who outlined the regulations involved in producing medical marijuana. They said that if Irondale does not pass the ordinance, they do have a backup site in Birmingham. However, Stewart was in opposition and said that some parts of the presentation were unclear.
“My position on this is: we don’t have to be in a hurry to be able to adopt anything just because someone’s telling me that they’re going to go to another municipality,” Stewart said. “And we are trying to develop a brand from the city that is very unique, and we’re trying to develop Irondale to be a destination point that is built around the recreational use of all of the assets that we have here, from the Cahaba River to Ruffner Mountain, to all the biking, hiking, everything that takes place in the middle of our great city.”
“We’re trying to change the image and the brand of the city, and that’s why I was opposed to anyone wanting to bring that into the city of Irondale because there’s still a lot of things that has not been determined, there’s things that have not been decided on as we talk here tonight and I don’t see where it would hurt us to be able to wait until some of these things play out so that we will have a much clearer vision about what we want to be able to do here in the city.”
Irondale Police Officer Paul Kellogg was asked for his opinion, and he spoke at some length, advising the council to contact the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission and speculated on consulting with agencies about any potential security concerns if such an ordinance were passed. After further discussion, the council voted to reject the proposal, with Sims being the sole “yes” vote.
In other business, the council:
- Authorized Stewart to enter into an agreement with Alabama Power Company for surveillance camera installation at the City of Irondale water shop not to exceed $402.45 per month, plus energy usage,
- Authorized a service agreement with I Am Love Ministries for $500 from the 2022-23 Fiscal Year Discretionary Fund of Councilman John London to be used to promote youth athletics for a Youth Athletics Banquet,
- Extended the moratorium on short-term rentals enacted in Resolution 2022-R-164 until Apr. 1 in 2023,
- Authorized a service agreement with Studio By The Tracks for $1,500 to provide services for those with special needs and “to create a community and career path for those individuals,”
- Authorized the purchase of real estate at 4233 Hood Drive, 4239 Hood Drive, and 2178 Ruffner Road for $425,000, plus closing costs, to be used as a new location for the Water System of Irondale, and
- Approved the provision of In-kind Services by the city for Marty’s GM St. Patrick’s Day Party.
- The Irondale City Council meets on the first and third Tuesdays of every month at City Hall on 101 20th Street South. Livestreamed recordings of meetings can be seen on the city’s Facebook page.
Nathan Prewett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.