JACKSONVILLE — The City Council here voted Monday to pay $167,000 for 7.4 acres of land that was once part of the old Profile Mill.
City Council President Mark Jones said the land could be used for a land swap with Jacksonville State University. Jones said that earlier Monday, university officials said they may be interested in exchanging Kitty Stone Elementary and Eastwood School for the 7.4 acres.
“The university doesn’t have an immediate plan for that land and I want to see something there,” Jones said of the Kitty Stone property, which school officials plan to vacate in 2016. “I feel like we can do something there pretty quickly.”
University President Bill Meehan said the JSU Board of Trustees will be presented with the matter later on this year. Its next meeting will be held in July.
Jones said he thinks the Kitty Stone property might be a good spot for city hall. Officials have been discussing the possibility of relocating city offices, which are now located in a short strip of buildings east of the Public Square.
The council president also said Kitty Stone elementary could still potentially be home to a new middle school. A debate about developing a new elementary campus at a different site dominated conversation at public meetings in recent months.
The Jacksonville City Board of Education voted to move the school, and discussed the possibility of repurposing the elementary school as a middle school. Then, this spring, the board decided not to build a middle school at the current Kitty Stone campus, citing a lack of funds.
The City Council asked a real estate agent at the meeting, Gary Gaines with Keller Williams Realty, to move forward with the land purchase deal, adding two last-minute qualifiers: first, that an office located on the land and used by the campus busing system be checked for mold, and second, that the roof there be checked for a leak and corrected if necessary.
City officials said that they would waive the repair if the land’s seller, Summit Industrial Services LLC, a Georgia company, would agree to provide money to fund the work.
“I think we can work through that,” Gaines said of the last-minute additions.
The purchase will not be complete until the seller signs off on it, but Jones said he would like the council to consider the lands swap with the university at the council’s next meeting. He told council members in a work session that the JSU board of trustees would likely consider the land swap at its July meeting.
In other business, the council:
- Held a public hearing to discuss an application for a $48,450 in Community Development Block Grant funds to replace aging water valves and water lines at Vann and Coffee Streets and at Fifth Avenue.
- Awarded bids to replace a cast iron gas main around the Public Square to Speegle Contracting out of Cullman for $197,700. The city also awarded a contract to purchase materials for the project to General Utilities Pipe and Supply in Trussville for $29,754.50.
- Amended the job description of wastewater treatment plant operator two, range 34.
- Accepted the resignations of Kurt Turner, a public safety communications officer, and of Arnetha Turner, a library assistant.
- Requested from the civil service board a list of eligible applicants for the public safety communications officer opening.