HEFLIN The Heflin City Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday allowing a civil engineering firm, Sain Associates, to complete a Heflin traffic study.

The study will show city officials how to make Heflin safer for pedestrians and create a better environment for area business along the two-mile four-lane portion of U.S. 78 also known as Ross Street.  

Options being considered for that stretch include adding or subtracting stop lights, restriping the street to make it two-lane with a turning lane and maybe adding bicycle lanes.

Mayor Rudy Rooks was in favor of the study.  

“We’ve talked to some of the businesses down through the district ... They’re in favor of that. This is a study to see if it would be feasible to do it,” Rooks said.

The cost of the study is $57,000 but the city will only pay 10 percent of that because ALDOT will pay the remaining 90 percent.

The city’s economic developer, Tanya Maloney, was pleased with the unanimous vote.

“I really am confident in it — this wasn’t willy-nilly, this was something we’ve talked about for the past several years with Main Street and it’s something that we’ve heard about from the businesses,” Maloney said.

Maloney said that business owners on Ross Street are annoyed at how unsafe it is to back out of the provided parking places and how high the speed limit there is.

The council also heard the first reading of an ordinance which will rezone a section of Heflin from manufacturing to two-family residential. The area is located in the north of Heflin along U.S. 78 and Turner Drive.

The council also unanimously passed a resolution making certain property surplus to the city including:

— 2003 Ford Crown Victoria

— Eight pieces of exercise equipment

— Windshield air diffuser

— Gas powered water pump

— Two mud flaps and brackets

— Antenna mount

— Honda 5000 psi Hurst power unit

— Headlight switch

— Two floodlights

Rooks commended Heflin police Chief A. J. Benefield for his department’s role in the apprehension of a suspect wanted by U.S. Marshals last week on a warrant from Kentucky. That person was eventually wounded by gunfire himself before being captured in a church parking lot last Wednesday.

“Our little city made headlines but I don’t like headlines like that. I just wish if they are going to act stupid they just go somewhere else. Our officers were involved for a little while — quickly — no one was injured on our part which was good. It’s real world coming to Heflin,” Rooks said.

The next council meeting will be Feb. 27 at 5:30 p.m.

City offices will be closed Feb. 19 for Presidents Day.

Upcoming events include:

— Missoula Children’s Theater, Feb. 26 through March 3 at the Armory.

— The St. Patty’s on Main and the Strides of March 5K will be on March 17.


Staff writer and photographer Bill Wilson: 256-235-3544. On Twitter: @BWilson_Star