North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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October 18, 2013

As Rock School purchase closes, Pinson looks to buy old railroad hotel

PINSON — As the city of Pinson closes the deal to save a major piece of local history, its council is about to move to save another.

Mayor Hoyt Sanders announced during Thursday night’s regular council session that the sale of the old Rock School closed last Tuesday. The city’s purchase was contingent on the previous occupants, Solid Rock Church, buying and moving to the former New Covenant Church facility on Pinson Valley Parkway. That move will take place over the next few weeks, with Solid Rock’s first Sunday service at their new home scheduled for Nov. 3.

Now, the council is looking at a much smaller project — the purchase of a building that began life as a railroad hotel.

The two-story building is located next to the now-abandoned Louisville and Nashville Railroad line that ran from Birmingham to Oneonta and points north. Railroad hotels were built to serve passengers traveling to smaller towns, and were normally located adjacent to the depot.

The Spring Street structure has served several functions since it was originally built, most recently as a law office. The building went into foreclosure, and was offered to the city for $10,000.

The council heard the first reading on the proposal to buy the property, and will act on it during the Nov. 7 meeting.

The council also took the first steps toward establishing a city-wide garbage pickup contract. Parts of the city have been serviced by different companies over the years, with some parts getting pickups twice a week while others get only one.

A public hearing will be held on Nov. 7, before the council’s regular meeting, to seek input as they prepare a request for proposal to send to area garbage companies.

In other business, the council:

  • Approved the annual allocation of $12,500 in discretionary funds to Pinson Valley High School, Rudd Middle School, Pinson Elementary and Kermit Johnson Elementary;
  • Voted an additional grant of $5,000 toward reconstruction of dugouts at the softball field at Pinson Elementary, which is used by teams from Pinson Valley and Rudd;
  • Discussed plans for the annual Veterans Breakfast on Nov. 11, to be held at Palmerdale Homesteads Community Center;
  • Gave first reading to an extension of the city’s contract with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to provide enhanced law enforcement services;
  • Approved sending council member John Churchwell as the primary delegate, and members Dawn Tanner and Robbie Roberts as alternates, to the National League of Cities convention in Seattle;
  • Scheduled a meeting of the Education Committee with Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Dr. Stephen Nowlin for Monday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m.;
  • Annexed houses in Willow Ridge and Osage Lane, plus two acreage tracts on Innsbrooke Parkway, into the city;
  • Announced that a vacancy exists on the planning and zoning commission, with Sanders asking the council for nominees to fill the position.

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