By Morgan Bryce

During the Smiths Station City Council’s work session last Tuesday, Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland informed the council that the city’s government center and SportsPlex will remain closed until Gov. Kay Ivey relaxes more COVID-19 guidelines.
“We’ve been in talks with our Parks and Recreation Director Jason Stewart about opening up at least the walking trail at the SportsPlex, but we have decided to keep it closed for now because of the possibility of people climbing the fences to use the basketball courts or other facilities there. Keeping the park closed, along with the (Smiths Station) Government Center, is something we believe is the right move until Governor Ivey makes changes to existing COVID-19 guidelines and procedures,” Copeland said.
This marked the third consecutive meeting held via a conference call, with Copeland and City Clerk Scott Johnston present in the council chambers to conduct the meeting.
A conversation with a City of Auburn official about modular buildings following a January planning commission meeting led Johnston to review the city’s zoning ordinances for language regarding these structures. He spent the last three months revising Articles II and V of the city’s zoning ordinance to address the structures’ absence in the ordinance and the council unanimously voted to approve these changes.
“The Planning Commission has given this revision their blessing, and they are now fully aware of the definitions and permitted uses. I think this will serve as a good amendment to the ordinance and it’s going to help with (overall) consistency in our code,” Johnston said.
According to a definition provided on, modular buildings or homes are prefabricated buildings or houses that consist of repeated sections or modules. Their origins date back to the 1920s, but came into popularity during World War II for shipping military equipment overseas. They have grown in popularity and are often considered engineers as more architecturally sound than on-site built buildings.
In other business, the council:
-approved Copeland to accept bonds on behalf of the city
-approved minutes from the April 14 meeting and
-approved the environmental and general fund budgets for March.
The Smiths Station City Council regularly meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month with a work session beginning at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time followed by the regular meeting at 6 p.m. Their meetings are held within the council chambers of the Smiths Station Government Center, which is located at 2336 Lee Road 430. For more information, call 334-297-8771 or visit