Jefferson County OKs Morgan Road Improvements, Resumes Road Maintenance in Bessemer

Jefferson County Commissioners Joe Knight and Sandra Little Brown look at material concerning a rezoning request at the commission meeting on Thursday, March 9, 2017.

March 9, 2017 – Jefferson County Commissioners on Thursday rescinded a 2009 commission resolution to discontinue maintenance on through roads in Bessemer.

The action allows county workers to add a dedicated turning lane from Morgan Road onto northbound Interstate 459, as the commission discussed in its committee meeting Tuesday.

The 2009 resolution was adopted because the county did not have money for such maintenance.

“The easier thing to do was to rescind the agreement,” Stephens said. “Now we go back to doing maintenance on the road just like we did prior to 2009.”

Chris Willis, a member of Commissioner Jimmie Stephens’ staff, explained that Bessemer had only one road on the road maintenance agreement before 2009 – Morgan Road. The resolution rescinded Thursday dealt specifically with the city of Bessemer.

“We are working trying to get these through road agreements with cities,” Willis said after the meeting. “We have 13 of them currently signed.”

As a result of today’s action, Bessemer joins the list of cities with through road maintenance agreements with Jefferson County. Others are Brighton, Clay, County Line, Hoover, Kimberly, Leeds, Lipsomb, Maytown, North Johns, Trafford, Warrior and West Jefferson.


Zoning Issues

Commissioners also Thursday held over a rezoning request for a Pinson property that is in a flood plain.

Southeast Truss Erectors Inc. sought a zoning change for a 2.22-acre parcel at 4100 Pinson Boulevard. Owners want to put a used car lot on the land, which is zoned for a mobile home park.

The property is in a flood plain, and the Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Commission recommended that the request be denied.

Commissioners were given copies of a letter from the landowner. Included were pictures that showed trash that had been left on the property, which was said to have been vacant at least 15 years.

Realtor Davin Gibson spoke on behalf of the company, saying there are “piles and piles” of debris on the property.

“It is in a flood plain but they would be willing to take whatever precautions to build up an area, whatever needs to be done there,” he said.

“It’s looking bad,” Commissioner Sandra Little Brown said, reacting to the photos.

Commissioner Joe Knight moved that the matter be held over for investigation and study.

“I’d rather have a business there than a dump site,” Knight said.

Zhaleh M. McCullers is the director of stormwater management for the Jefferson County Department of Land Planning and Development Services. She said plans to build up the property must be submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“Once FEMA approves it, then we can advise the commission,” she said.

The commission approved two other rezoning requests.

A 14.6-acre parcel at 7578 Bankhead Highway in Dora was rezoned to A-1 agricultural to be in line with nearby properties. The estate of Nella Ruth Braswell wants to sell the property.

Nails & More sought to have its property at 798 Fourth Avenue SW, Bessemer, rezoned for business expansion. The matter was approved with contingent covenants, including having access to the property approved by the Department of Roads and Transportation.

The commission also granted a license for Los Rancheros Mexican Grill to sell liquor on site. The restaurant is at 1420 Forestdale Boulevard.

Commission President Jimmie Stephens, Brown and Knight approved all but two resolutions by unanimous consent. Commissioners George Bowman and David Carrington were absent.

 Brown took the gavel as Stephens and Knight approved a $2,400 community grant agreement with A. G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club. Brown abstained from the vote to avoid a conflict of interest.


Read more Jefferson County Commission coverage:

Jefferson County Commissioners Discuss Widening Morgan Road and Revamping Lights to Ease Traffic.

JeffCo Commission Honors Pioneering Black Judges

JeffCo Commissioners Discuss Cooper Green Contracts, Water Line Project, Other Issues to Come up in Thursday’s Meeting.

Jefferson County Commission Approves United Way Funding Despite Concerns.