Montevallo in talks over land for library

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 5, 2006

The city of Montevallo is still in negotiations over purchasing 1.3 acres of land adjacent to its soon-to-open library.

The city is in talks with the Studdard family for the undeveloped property.

At a financial committee meeting on Aug. 30, council members said they are awaiting a written appraisal.

A verbal appraisal done earlier this summer for the city puts the property&8217;s value at $160,000.

Scott Studdard, his brother and mother say their appraisal done last year puts the property&8217;s value at $220,000, but the family would be willing to sell for $200,000.

&8220;I&8217;m a city boy myself,&8221; said Scott Studdard. &8220;I want the city to have this property.&8221;

Montevallo council members say they want to purchase the property, but must have all the paperwork in front of them.

&8220;I want to make sure I&8217;m a good steward of taxpayers&8217; dollars,&8221; said Councilwoman Dana Byrd. &8220;I&8217;m not against buying the property, but I want to make sure we have everything in front of us and go from there.&8221;

Complicating the matter is an end of the month deadline, before which the city must purchase the property or lose county dollars.

Councilman Greg Pendelton acknowledged that Shelby County Manager Alex Dudchock had made a &8220;generous&8221; offer to help fund the expansion. He would not specify the exact deadline or the amount the county offered.

&8220;Let&8217;s get this thing done,&8221; said Councilman Willie Goldsmith. &8220;We want the property; let&8217;s work with the Studdards to get it.&8221;

More than 20 residents showed up to last week&8217;s committee meeting to show their support for the acquisition.