New Pell City mayor, council officially take office

The new Pell City Council and mayor were sworn into office Nov. 7, 2016, at the Pell City Center for the Performing Arts. Members of the new administration are (from left) Council President and District 2 Councilman James McGowan, District 1 Councilman Jay Jenkins, Mayor Bill Pruitt, District 5 Councilman Jud Alverson, District 3 Councilman Blaine Henderson and District 4 Councilman Jason Mitcham.

PELL CITY -- The Heart of Pell City is in talks with the municipality’s governing body about a temporary home for a city museum. 

The Heart of Pell City’s Historical Committee proposed during the City Council work session Monday that the former library building be used as a temporary home for the museum. 

City officials said during the work session they were agreeable to allowing the library to be used in such a manner, contingent on the municipality being able to afford the cost of bringing the building into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

The committee asked for the temporary space in order to apply to be a permanent home for one of the Making Alabama bicentennial exhibits. 

If Pell City is chosen, the bicentennial exhibit will be displayed with “The Way We Worked” exhibit that was put together for the Smithsonian traveling exhibit the city hosted in 2014.

The committee wishes to use the library building for two years but would like the museum's permanent home to be the old Avondale business building. 

If the Avondale building is not available after two years, the committee will seek another. The building is in need of major renovation and restoration work, which the Heart of Pell City wishes to help with. 

“We are not here simply with our hand out for a gift,” committee member Carol Pappas told the council.

She said the committee has already started fundraising efforts to help with renovations at Avondale. During its regular meeting Monday, the council approved a $10,280 project to replace roofing on the Avondale building.

City Manager Brian Muenger sees a possible decision to allow the Heart of Pell City to use the library on a temporary basis as an opportunity to continue working on getting the city museum.

“I think, really, we have agreed to continue talking,” he said on the plan for the library. 

While the temporary placement would help the Historical Committee now, Muenger said the Avondale building would be the ideal permanent site for the museum. 

Heart of Pell City President Urainah Glidewell has a positive feeling about the library. 

“We’re very optimistic about the contingencies placed on use of the library,” she said.

Glidewell said the museum will feature exhibits about the history of Pell City. 

“It’s not just Avondale Mills, but also items from the construction of Logan Martin Dam,” she said about the content of the “The Way We Worked”exhibit.

The plan is for the museum to help sustain the cultural needs of the community and to help develop a humanities community that will include organizations all over Pell City and St. Clair County.

Taylor Mitchell, Daily Home reporter covering Pell City.