The Anniston City Council on Tuesday voted to enter into an agreement with a company working to establish a bike-sharing network throughout Calhoun County.

The company, called Lime Bike, will offer about 500 bikes throughout the county that riders can pay for through a smartphone app that charges users $1 per half hour.

The network also will include Oxford, Jacksonville and Jacksonville State University, via separate agreements between the company and those entities.

Toby Bennington, director of economic development and city planning for Anniston, told the council that the company will make the bikes available sometime in May.

The agreement comes at no cost to the city. Similar bike-sharing services have docking stations where riders must pick up and return the bicycles. But according to a Lime Bike representative, the company will fit Calhoun County’s bikes with GPS trackers. That means riders can leave the bikes anywhere that’s open to the public. Riders can find the bikes using the app.

The GPS trackers also offer the cities in the network data about how often and where riders use the bikes.

According to Lime Bike officials, the company will hire three to four staff members to maintain and operate the bike stations at each site.

In other business, the council:

- Voted to approve an ordinance that gives the city’s animal control officer the authority to fine residents who violate city laws on caring for animals. Before the measure passed, the control officer had to call in a police officer to issue a fine.

- Voted to request an advisory opinion from the state attorney general on whether the council or the city manager has the authority to appoint city prosecutors and defenders for municipal court. There was disagreement among council members about who had that authority. Local NAACP head Glenn Ray spoke in favor of the council, rather than a city manager, hiring the attorneys. Ray said he believes many defendants in city court are being treated unfairly.

“We need to shop around and get some people who are going to do right in city court,” he said.  

- Authorized the city manager to enter into an agreement with Clay Gresham Sr. of Pro-Video Enterprises to produce public service announcements for the city departments. Interim City Manager Cory Salley said a final price tag for the services had yet to be reached, but the cost would be about $125 per video.

- Voted to allow the mayor to enter into an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation for the maintenance of traffic signals at the intersection of U.S. 431 and Choccolocco Road.

- Voted to waive the Anniston City Meeting Center’s rental fees for the Legacy Club on May 19 and the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce School Board Forum on April 26.

- Approved an off-premises retail beer and wine application for Roco Food Mart at 280 E. Glade Road, Unit D.

- Approved nuisance abatements for properties at 1017 Cynthia Crescent, 1739 Homarda Drive, 0 Ferron Avenue and 1830 Rocky Hollow Road.

The council will meet next at 6:30 p.m. March 20 at City Hall. A work session will be held before the meeting at 3 p.m.


Assistant Metro Editor Daniel Gaddy: 256-235-3560. On Twitter @DGaddy_Star.

I'm the assistant metro editor for The Anniston Star. I edit, post online stories and write the occasional story.