The overseers of the former Fort McClellan’s development tabled a vote to dissolve on Thursday by at least two weeks.
It was the second time in a month the McClellan Development Authority’s board of directors postponed the vote — this time to hear from a land trust law attorney on the matter. Still, there was a consensus among members that they should dissolve the Anniston board sooner rather than later because of insufficient revenue.
The choice to postpone voting on a motion to dissolve as of Sept. 30, first tabled in December, came after more than an hour in a called Thursday meeting to discuss how the MDA would end.
“We’re making progress and we are moving forward,” Phil Webb, chairman of the board, said after the meeting. “Our goal is doing what is best for the city, county and region and for residents and the future.”
Board member Freeman Fite said during the meeting that it would still be best to wait on a vote until the MDA heard from the attorney, who had previously been scheduled to meet Jan. 24 with the board. One of the MDA’s options is to put its property in a land trust after it dissolves.
“Waiting two more weeks is not going to hurt,” Fite said.
Webb said however that he expected the board to come to an agreement at the Jan. 24 meeting.
“The goal would be, when we leave that meeting, to have some firm action,” Webb said.
The board has talked for months about possibly dissolving the seven-year-old organization, tasked with cleaning up and developing the fort, which closed in 1999. The board no longer has any steady stream of revenue, placing continued operation and development in doubt.
According to MDA numbers, since its creation the board has conveyed more than 500 acres and 55 buildings for development at McClellan for a total of more than $10 million.
The MDA has already taken steps to dissolve, including working to transfer 1,000 acres of undeveloped property and 140 acres of commercial property to the city of Anniston. The Calhoun County Economic Development Council is also in final negotiations with the board to accept 260 acres of industrial property at McClellan.
“We’ve taken action to dissolve, we just haven’t put pen to paper,” said Robin Scott, executive director of the MDA.
Also during the meeting, the board approved an approximately $16,000 contract with International Mountain Biking Association Trail Solutions to conduct preliminary designs of bicycle trails at McClellan by the site’s soccer fields. The board allocated $200,000 for a 6-mile, National Interscholastic Cycling Association-certified mountain biking course last year. The $16,000 would come from that $200,000 allocation.
The board also last year agreed to pay another $200,000 for a 6-mile course on 1,000 acres west of the eastern bypass portion of U.S. 431.