By Morgan Bryce
With a broad smile on his face, Smiths Station Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland opened last Tuesday’s meeting by thanking the council members for their attendance, which marked the first time the group has met in person since their March 10 meeting. To satisfy the state’s COVID-19 public meeting and social distancing guidelines, all council members, including Copeland and City Clerk Scott Johnston, sat six feet apart.
“I can’t tell you how great it is to see you all in these chambers again. This is a great moment for us as a body,” Copeland said.
The agenda remained light with only three business items requiring a vote.
Council members approved a resolution setting dates for the annual “Back to School Sales Tax Holiday,” which will last from 12:01 a.m. on July 17 to midnight on July 19. All school-related items for students will be tax-exempt, and the holiday applies to online sales. A full list of the items can be viewed on the Alabama Department of Revenue’s website.
The council voted to renew its 5-mill ad valorem (property) tax for a second consecutive year, which is applicable to Smiths Station residents only. Funds obtained by the city are poured back into its infrastructure, with Copeland citing road repaving as an example.
Copeland also discussed the status of the park with council members, stating that the city’s SportsPlex walking trail has reopened, but that the baseball, basketball and soccer facilities would remain closed until more restrictions on close-contact sports are lifted.
Before dismissing, Copeland took a moment to address the audience, council members and residents and reminded them of the importance of maintaining proper hygiene and adhering to social distancing procedures as the state begins to move forward with reopening.
“Just because we as a state are moving forward with reopening does not mean COVID-19 is gone. The virus and the threat it poses is still very real,” Copeland said. “Please continue following the same procedures you have been, and senior (citizens), please wear masks when you’re out for your safety.”
The Smiths Station City Council meets regularly on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month with a work session starting 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 smithsstational.gov.