Annexation petition hot topic at Vincent council meeting

Published 8:38 pm Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dozens gathered at the Vincent Town Council meeting Tuesday night in hopes of finding out more about the petition asking for Vincent to be annexed into Harpersville.

Instead, they were dismissed with no new information when the meeting ended mere minutes after it began. Mayor Ray McAllister acknowledged the situation, however, by telling the gathering that the council received the petition yesterday and turned it over to Town Attorney Corey Moore.

McAllister said Vincent officials are in limbo until the Harpersville Town Council makes a ruling.

“Harpersville has to act on whether they’re for or against it,” he said. “If they’re against it, it’s over. If they’re for it, Vincent will decide whether we’re for it or against it.”

Moore said he’s currently reviewing the petition and the Alabama law the petition is based on. He said the petition was an unexpected development in the back-and-forth debate over the proposed quarry.

“I would say I don’t think anyone expected this happening,” he said.

Grady Gibbons, who is a member of both the Vincent Historical and Environmental Society and the Citizens for One Community, said the petition was a wake-up call for the Vincent Town Council.

“The past six months, we have done everything we can to get some kind of answers,” he said. “Harpersville has laws on the books that protect against blasting.”

People believe Vincent would not lose its identity even if it were annexed into Harpersville, Gibbons said.

“It’ll always be Vincent. It won’t be the city of Vincent, but it’ll be a neighborhood,” he said. “I think there are enough Vincent people that are upset that they want to protect their property.”

McAllister said he’s heard from plenty of citizens that are firmly against the petition.

“They think it’s ridiculous,” he said. “They say, ‘We’ve been Vincent for 100 years, and we want to be Vincent for 100 more.’”

The petition, drawn by the Citizens for One Community and signed by 57 people, would annex Vincent into Harpersville and would likely end plans for a limestone quarry in Vincent.