Eufaula Mayor Jack Tibbs recognized eight City of Eufaula employees with a combined tenure of 82 years of service at Monday night’s council meeting, and the council also gave approval for the rezoning of a high-end housing development/recreational facility and shooting range.
Steve Carnley, public works, Tony Frisoli, public works, Brittney March, jailer, and Howard Williams, transit, celebrated five years; Steven Willson, police, celebrated five years of continued service and 11 years total; Capt. Lee Hamm, police, celebrated five years of continued service and 21 years total; Irene Jones, senior center, celebrated 10 years; and Don Anglin, public works, retired, celebrated 20 years.
The council also held a second public hearing for a zoning request to change the classification of property owned by Continental Pacific, LLC and located on Fox Ridge Road from R-1 (Low Density Residential) to E-1 (Estate District). Mark Simpson, project manager, said he wanted to see this idea come to fruition in Eufaula because of how much he loves the area—and the people.
“Everyone asks me all the time why I moved here, and I tell them, ‘You don’t know this town,’” Simpson said. “When you move to this town, you fall in love with it and with these people. I’m not going to have a lot of employees, but I’ll bring in a lot of people who will fall in love with Eufaula, and maybe they’ll be people who will build a steakhouse one day.”
Simpson said the idea is not for the housing community to ever be at full occupancy, or even a permanent residency for the inhabitants.
“People will come here, either fly in or drive up from where they’re coming from, and they’ll spend a week. These are people that come to my business every week, and they never get to come to Eufaula because I pick them up at the airport and I take them up to my place, so they never see Eufaula,” he said. “We’re after low density, higher income people and a place for them to go. For these people that will go there, it’s a five-minute golf cart ride to the golf course, and it only takes five minutes to get into town.”
Simpson said the homes will not be “mini-mansions,” but will still be on the higher-end of housing plans with lots beginning at $100,000 complete with a home owners association. To keep the community on an even level, buyers will have the option to choose from a booklet of pre-designed builds. Simpson said the property values will go up, but won’t get out of hand.
The council approved the rezone request, and Simpson can now undertake the next stage of planning.
In his mayor’s report, Tibbs said the problem is not getting new industry to come to Eufaula, it’s finding a building for those interested to operate out of.
“It’s exciting times for the city,” he said, “but the problem we’ve got right now is we don’t have many available buildings to put these folks in, so they’re looking for an existing building because they want to get up and going quickly. We’re trying to get these things across the finish line, and we will because they want to be here, but it’s just a matter of finding property.”
Tibbs said he was also able to get in contact with Ridgewood Baptist, a church from Dothan, that came to assist with cleanup after the March 2019 tornado. Tibbs said they didn’t want to be formally recognized, but that he felt it was important.
“When people do stuff like this, it needs to be recognized because it inspires other people to do good things,” he said.
In other business, the council:
Approved the prepaid claims docket dated June 30, 2021 in the amount of $1,245,858.65
Approved the claims docket dated July 14, 2021 in the amount of $81,442.50.
Accepted a Class A hazmat containment kit from Tyson in Eufaula.
Passed a resolution authorizing the lease of additional safety cameras from Alabama Power for the Eufaula Police Department. The initial agreement was made in June 2020 at a cost of $833.34 per month for an initial term of 24 months. The proposed resolution added five more cameras for a total monthly lease amount of $1,145.85.
Passed a resolution putting a six-month temporary moratorium on cargo container and tiny houses (500 square feet or less) until a more in-depth study can be performed relating to how tiny houses and the cargo containers affect property values on existing homes and communities within the city.