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Heflin City Council considers variance for tall highway signs

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HEFLIN — The Heflin City Council is considering a variance which would allow the new Love’s Travel Stop at I-20 exit 205 to have larger signage than currently allowed by the city.

The main Love’s sign that the company would erect is 200 feet tall, which is 100 feet taller than city ordinance currently allows, according to Hefin Mayor Robby Brown. 

“It’s going to be a tall sign,” Brown said during a City Council work session Tuesday night.

“Our problem is, keep in mind, we’re going to have to do a variance for the ordinance, but we can’t zone, we can’t spot zone,” said Brown.

Brown had a list of all the various signs and canopy signs the company desires which he read to the council. 

Brown said the variance will be posted for two weeks to publicize it and to learn whether anyone has an issue with the new signage rules.

 Brown called the new variance a hardship variance which will state all commercial and retail property in excess of 12,000 square feet and within 100 feet of the right of way of an intersection of an interstate exchange can have big signs. 

“So what that’s saying is if Damn Yankees down here wants to put him up a 200-foot-tall sign we’ve got to allow it,” said Brown.

Brown said the planning commission recommended the new changes to the city, adding, “we’ve got to adopt it, we’ve got to vote on it.” 

During departmental reports Jonathan Adams, Heflin fire chief, said for the month of December the department responded to 22 total calls which included:

— Five structure fires

— Three vehicle fires

— Four motor vehicle collisions

— Six medical calls

— One tree and powerline down call

— Two alarms

— One service call

Ross McGlaughn, Heflin’s police chief reported for the month of December:

— Five pursuits

— One arrest

— 20 seven suspicious person calls

— 14 suspicious vehicle calls

— 137 traffic stops

— Two stolen cars reports

— 18 assists to motorists

— 26 wrecks

— Three road blockages due to weather

— Two escorts

— 11 fire alarms

— Two house fires

— Five vehicle fires

— Two missing person calls

— 15 reckless driving calls

— 14 burglar alarm calls

— Two assault calls

— 25 disturbance calls

— Eight shots fired calls

— 145 complaint calls

During the regular meeting following the work session the council voted unanimously to pay all of the bills the city owes which were listed on the agenda.

The mayor said he wants the city to have a city credit card so employees don’t have to be reimbursed by using their personal credit card.

Brown said the credit card will be closely monitored and issued to him but other city employees can use it providing the employee brings back a receipt. The city previously had credit cards in the last administration but according to Councilman Clint “Shag” Austin those credit cards were destroyed due to “discrepancies.”