The Mobile City Council will vote as early as next week to sell a small fire station on Old Shell Road to a local developer.
Per its rules, the council delayed a vote on the sale of the Ashland Place Fire Station to Lafayette Land Company for $368,850.
Bob Isakson Sr., CEO of Lafayette Land Company, said there is currently no tenant, but he envisions the unique 2,200-square-foot facility dating back to the 1930s being used for retail in the front and residential in the back. He mentioned a coffee shop “or something like that” as a potential fit.
“This is the 88th or 89th historic building we’ve restored,” Isakson said. “We restore buildings to their original condition and then seek out a tenant with an applicable use.”
Although, Lafayette hasn’t started work on the building yet, the city put out a request for proposals on the property that required those interested to maintain the outside of the building, Isakson said,
Lafayette has been responsible for restoration at other current retail building, including: Iron Hand Brewing, the Cheese Cottage, Nova Espresso and others, Isakson said.
In other business, the council approved a resolution to allow Alabama Power Company to install electric vehicle charging stations throughout downtown. The agreement between the city and Alabama Power allows the company to place no more than 14 of charging stations in various places downtown.
The council discussed an agreement with the Mobile County Commission that would allow the city’s public works department to pick up scrap tires and be reimbursed with up to $150,000 in county funds. The agreement is part of a larger deal between the county and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.
The city can now pick up scrap tires, but workers can not go on private property, interim public works Director John Peavy said. Tires will have to be placed in the rights-of-way in order to picked up. However, the tires can’t be picked up through a normal trash route.
While councilors applauded the measure, a vote on it was delayed for a week, per council rules. However, Council Vice President Levon Manzie and others hope this will not be the end of the scrap tire conversation.
Manzie pushed for a committee meeting on the subject, specifically to address creating an ordinance to punish those individuals who dump old tires in the city.
“Three weeks ago, I saw a truck with a load of tires and Baldwin County tag dumping spare tires in the Plateau community,” Manzie said. “Surely that wasn’t a one-off situation. There is a former housing development no longer in use so they go and dump tires there and can go back to their community where the yard is cut and the community is nice.”
Manzie, Councilman C.J. Small and Councilman Joel Daves will be members of a committee that, in conjunction with members of Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s administration, will be tasked with researching best practices for such enforcement.
“We need to see what other communities are doing,” Manzie said. “There have to be some answers among are sister cities, or cities in another state.”
Due to Mardi Gras, the next meeting of the council will take place on Wednesday, March 6. Garbage pickup slated for Tuesday, March 5 will take place a day earlier on Monday, March 4, Peavy announced.
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