By Nathan Prewett, For the Tribune
LEEDS – The Leeds City Council granted a limited tax rebate to Jackson Hospitality Services to build a hotel near Rex Lane Road during a meeting on Monday, Dec. 4.
Jackson Hospitality President Cory Jackson was present with his brother, Vice President Neal Jackson. Both are the developers and owners of Hampton Inn, which is also on Rex Road. Cory Jackson made a brief presentation.
“We had an opportunity to bring another hotel to Leeds,” he said. “We are proposing to build a Springhill Suites by Marriott that would be 112 to 120 rooms in size. The demand is there right now because we know how much business we turn away from the Hampton. The development costs are a little stiff between interest rates, construction price and we have some fairly serious geotechnical work to do.”
He requested that the city approve a tax revenue share with Jackson Hospitality Services for four years with a cap of $540,000. He projected that after a five-year period, the hotel would generate an estimated $1.3 million in lodging sales tax revenue for the city.
The request was approved unanimously.
During department reports, Leeds Police Chief Paul Irwin mentioned two recent crimes, one involving a shooting in which the suspect was quickly apprehended on Friday, Dec. 1. The other was the arrest of five individuals during a drug and weapons bust on Thursday, Nov. 30.
The Leeds Police Department worked in tandem with the Irondale Police Department for the bust. Irwin said that this stemmed from a past traffic stop in Leeds that eventually led to the raid and arrest. He went on to address complaints from people regarding traffic stops at night, saying that some have resulted in arrests for larger crimes.
He then went on to introduce two officers newly hired to the department. Michael Green comes from Birmingham with two and a half years of experience on the job. Greg Kyle comes from Pell City where Irwin headed for five years before coming to Leeds.
“Congratulations, guys,” Miller told them after they were sworn in. “You’ve joined a great department. They’ve got great officers and we certainly welcome you aboard.”
However, Irwin’s remarks regarding traffic stops were criticized later during public comments by Mario Ratta of Pell City, who said that he had complained about being stopped four times by Leeds police at night, though he said that he did not receive citations during any of them.
Miller said that they would look into the matter and determine if the stops had probable cause.
Following Ratto was Albert Daw. He asked Miller to follow up with a question about the council allowing him to locate tiny homes on several small lots that his nonprofit acquired for the purpose of housing veterans. Miller said that this would be a matter for the Zoning Commission and that he had not heard from them.
After some discussion, Miller suggested requesting a change in zoning ordinance from the commission as the current policy doesn’t allow for tiny homes.
“We have to change it back,” Daw insisted. “We have people that need homes. We have veterans that need homes. We are a city of valor. It’s about time we took care of our veterans.”
The exchange between the two became briefly tense as Daw continued to criticize Miller and was shortly escorted out of the building.
After public comments, the council went into executive session.
In other business, the council:
- Granted an off-premise beer and off-premise wine license to Raceway 726,
- Adopted and ratified its October 2023 city expenditures and payables, and
- Adopted an ordinance to authorize truck route exemptions for local deliveries.
Meetings are held on the first and third Mondays of every month at City Hall on 1400 9th Street Northeast. Agenda packets can be seen online at the City of Leeds website.
Nathan Prewett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.