BY KENDYL HOLLINGSWORTH
SMITHS STATION —
Smiths Station City Council had a busy month.
The mayor and council members appointed two new city officials, approved annexations and rezones and commemorated the anniversary of the nearby 1 On 1 Technical College, among other business.
The Dec. 13 meeting saw the appointment of a new Fire Protection District board member and a new city attorney.
Dwayne Peterson will fill the Place 5 seat on the Fire Protection District Board, which Cecil Martin vacated after moving outside the Smiths Station city limits. Peterson’s term is set to expire April 1, 2024.
In addition, Allen Martin was appointed as Smiths Station’s third city attorney.
Martin comes to the position following the departure of Melissa Thomas, who served as the city attorney for about six months during the transition period after Rick Chancey left the position to become the district attorney of Russell County.
“I’d like to give thanks first and foremost to our city attorney for 20 years, Mr. Rick Chancey, who is now DA of Russell County, and then Ms. Melissa Thomas representing us for six months during the transition,” said Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland. “… After much talking and much praying and much counsel with Mr. [Allen] Martin, who has represented us on the IGSA program for Fort Benning and several IGSAs, and has been very diligent … I like people that work as hard as we do.”
The council also deemed two mowers surplus and authorized the disposal of them. Copeland explained that the city has another mower that can perform all needed work, so the city plans to sell the other two for a total of $15,000.
At the Dec. 27 meeting, Copeland signed a proclamation recognizing 1 On 1 Technical College’s three-year anniversary. He presented the proclamation to the school’s chancellor, Shakea Miller.
The two-year postsecondary institution opened its Phenix City location in 2019. There are other locations in Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, Troy, Tuscaloosa and Valley. The college provides technical training in several health care fields.
Earlier in the meeting, per recommendation from the Planning Commission, the council addressed annexation petitions and requests for two properties to be annexed into Smiths Station. It also approved rezone requests for two other properties from R-1 (Residential Single Family) to R-3 (High Density Single Family District).
The council held open public hearings for each of those four properties at the meeting, though there were no public comments. The council then voted to suspend the rules of ordinances and resolutions to move forward with the voting without a second reading.
All four items were approved — the annexation of properties on Cummings Road and Deer Trail Drive, as well as rezoning of properties on Panther Parkway and Francis Place.
Rezoning the properties from R-1 to R-3 would allow the lot owners to build more than one residential unit on the lot.
“What these people are wanting to do is, instead of having one home on one lot, they’re wanting to put three smaller homes that are more affordable … for people with lower income that may not be able to afford to build on this property,” Copeland explained.
Both Copeland and Place 2 Council Member Morris Jackson expressed excitement for the annexations.
“The most joyful time in serving on this council is when we see people annex into the city,” “It’s a privilege for us to have that happen, and we invite everybody out there that’s not inside the city that can become a member of this great city of Smiths Station — annex in.”
Following the approvals, the council heard a positive financial report for the month of November. According to City Clerk Morgan Bryce, the city’s net income totaled over $9,700. Copeland added that the city has now seen a grand total of nearly $102,000 for the last two month.
With Dec. 27 being the last regular city council meeting of the year, Copeland also expressed gratitude and optimism as the city prepares to usher in the new year.
“We look forward to the future,” he said. “The future’s very bright for Smiths Station.”
Smiths Station City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 6 p.m. Eastern Time at the city government building, located at 2336 Panther Parkway (Lee Road 430). A public work session is held 30 minutes prior.