By Terry Schrimscher, For the Tribune
CLAY – At the close of the March 14 meeting of the Clay City Council, city attorney Alan Summers shared news about an illegal encampment in the woods behind the Lovelady Center on Old Springville Road near City Hall.
“If you were to drive up on top of the hill in back of Lovelady, there is a physical encampment there,” said Summers. “It’s people who are not supposed to be there.”
Summers said he has met with Beau Gregory, vice president of the Lovelady Center, who thanked the city for offering to help with the situation. A trail leading to the encampment is littered with items stolen from donation bins at the thrift store. Summers said it is likely some metal items are being removed and sold for scrap.
“Monday is the worst day because Lovelady is not open on Sunday,” said City Manager Ronnie Dixon. “So, they take all that stuff and walk through the woods on both sides of Sweeney Hollow and then just throw out what they don’t want. We pick up one of our flatbeds full every Monday.”
Summers did not estimate how many people were currently encamped on the property but did say he has talked to local homeowners to take action on the matter. The encampment is in the woods near private residences and Bryant Park Elementary School.
“The sheriff’s office is trespassing people [and] the HOA gave us permission to trespass people there,” said Dixon. “If they get caught up there a second time they go to jail. Most of them are coming from the jail anyway.”
In other business, the Council amended an ordinance regulating the sale of alcohol in the city. The amendment applies to ordinance 2003-103, originally passed in January of 2004, which establishes the definition of a retail establishment licensed to sell alcohol in the city.
The amendment limits the number of retail establishments allowed to sell alcohol to two within the city limits of Clay. The ordinance does not regulate beer and wine sales.
Councilmember Dean Kirkner suggested the Council may need to revisit the ordinance at a future meeting to establish a mile limit on retail establishments rather than a limit on the total number. Planning and Zoning is currently considering an application for a second establishment at the Shell station on
“I just keep thinking one day we’re going develop more and more on Deerfoot,” Kirkner said. He pointed out many people who like to shop local would be inconvenienced as the city continues to grow.
The Council passed a resolution to declare a property at 2210 Sweeney Hollow Road a public nuisance. The resolution approved weed abatement at the private residence.
Dixon and Mayor Webster updated the Trussville Tribune on the residence raided by Trussville police prior to the February 28 meeting. No action has been taken to condemn the property at 6556 Clay Palmerdale Road due to a pending court case.
The next meeting of the Clay City Council is scheduled for 6 p.m. on March 28 at City Hall.