By Melanie Patterson
North Jefferson News
Gardendale is preparing to move forward with building a new city hall.
On Sept. 3, the city council authorized Mayor Othell Phillips to enter into a contract with Architecture Works LLP for the design of a city hall building.
The city in August paid $450,000 for a 4.5-acre site on Bell Street across from the Gardendale Senior Center. The property contains a house that Phillips said the city will renovate and rent out for teas, wedding receptions and other events. The L-shaped site connects with Main Street; city hall will be constructed on Main Street.
The mayor and council had formerly planned to relocate city hall to the City Center development on Mt. Olive Road, which now contains Buffalo Wild Wings.
Phillips said the change is because the City Center is under contract with a development company, which wants to develop and lease out the entire property.
In other business, the council:
• heard the first reading of an ordinance to establish a 5-mill property tax in Gardendale, and set a date of Nov. 12 for a special election for voters to decide whether to increase overall property tax to 10 mills. The purpose is to fund a school system. (See related story on page 1)
• authorized Phillips to enter into an agreement with Retail Strategies LLC, which will market the city for economic growth
• heard the first reading of an ordinance establishing a temporary (365 days) moratorium on building permits for multi-family housing in the city of Gardendale
• cleaned up the books by eliminating several ordinances and combining them into one new ordinance that updates fees and language
• adopted an ordinance that would allow for flexibility on setbacks at planned unit developments on an individual basis
• authorized Phillips to renew a contract with Jefferson County for rental of the senior center building. The contract calls for the county to provide funds to help pay the senior center director’s salary
• authorized the installation of a street light at the intersection of Hand Lane and Fieldstown Road
• approved a proclamation honoring Gardendale tennis coach Marie Zassoda
• approved a proclamation supporting the No Texting While Driving campaign with AT&T