The Mobile City Council revisited several old items during the Aug. 6 regular meeting. During the July 31 council meeting, the city officially joined Mobile Area Water and Sewer System (MAWSS), Mobile County and countless residents to stand together against the construction of the crude oil pipeline within the watershed of Big Creek Lake.
The pipeline would move oil from the Mobile River all the way to the Chevron refinery in Pascagoula and has encountered a great deal of opposition in the past couple of months.
Many of the councilors were concerned about who exactly is the person or entity that would be able to move or stop construction of the pipeline. Council attorney Jim Rossler advised the council that creating a resolution against the pipeline would be the best thing for the city.
“Short of going out and standing in front of the bulldozers, this is what you do to oppose it,” he said. “This is a more targeted approach.”
However during the Aug. 6 meeting, Councilwoman Bess Rich asked if the resolution had been sent to anyone concerning the city’s position on moving or stopping the pipeline. She was told by the administration that no one had sent the resolution, but a plan was made to mail out the city’s stance on the Big Creek Lake pipeline to the governor, Plains Southcap, and all other entities involved.
During the July 31 meeting, an item allocating $4,386,000 to capital improvements throughout the city that range from repairing a heavily used road to creating a skate park in the city was approved.
The next costly item in the list of projects is for the building of a skate park at Public Safety Memorial Park, which will be an 8,661-square-foot skate park and cost $450,000.
Mayor Sam Jones announced during the Aug. 6 council meeting that the city would open up the skate park for bidding in three weeks. The mayor said the bidding process for building the park is expected to take 60 days and then construction will only take another 60 days.
On July 16, the councilors approved entering into a contract with Hosea O. Weaver and Sons, Inc.,, for roadway and intersection improvements to Airbus Way and Aerospace Drive, which are the entranceways into the Airbus site at Brookley Aeroplex.
City attorney Larry Wettermark said the entrance would be a “showpiece” and cost the city much less than the $3.5 million maximum approved for the contract.
“This is a contractual obligation among the state, Mobile County, the city and Airbus. In that contract, it states the city will pay for the improvements, but the county and state will reimburse the city $1 million each,” Wettermark said. “The city will in actuality only pay $1,488,673.30.”
City engineer Nick Amberger said the area would not only experience actual road improvements, but it would also make it much more pedestrian friendly.
“This is to get the road ready for truck traffic, heavy construction road,” he said. “There will also be pedestrian features on it — wide sidewalks. It’s the gateway into Airbus and other aerospace facilities.”
Another street in the area will see improvement as well. On Aug. 6, the council authorized a contract with Volkert, Inc., for Baker Street and Baker Street Extension improvements and construction for the Airbus Airplane Component Route. The improvements will cost the city $138,000.