Pelham City Council opposes bill to reduce State Parks rates

The Pelham City Council unanimously voted 5-0 March 15 to oppose a bill in the Alabama Senate that would reduce Alabama State Park fees from May 15-Aug. 15.

The bill calls for the reduction of all fees during the peak months of the year at all the state parks, including Pelham’s Oak Mountain State Park.

Council member Bill Meadows said the reduction in fees during the peak months of park traffic would cause layoffs, reduction in services and a reduction in sales tax for the city.

Although Meadows said the idea sounds good on paper, he also said there is no plan to make up for the lost money.

“There is just one small problem: there’s no monies to replace the monies we will lose,” Meadows said. “It is a matter of urgency.”

Meadows called on City Clerk Tom Seale to contact all the state senators and representatives who represent the city and implore them to vote down the measure.

In other actions, the council:

— Authorized the mayor to sign a grant agreement with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs in the amount of $100,000 to go towards the completion of an Epic trail and a 60-foot bridge over the existing spillway at Oak Mountain State Park. The city will donate $25,000 of in-kind services.

— Authorized a 10 percent education pay incentive for Fire Department employee George Ingleright and a 5 percent education pay incentive for Fire Department employee Scott Moye. Ingleright completed a bachelor’s in criminal justice from the University of North Alabama, while Moye completed an associate degree in applied science and fire science from Columbia Southern University.

— Amended the 2010 budget in the amount of $900 for donations received by the Fire Department.

— Approved ABC applications for Walgreens at 9458 Helena Road, Walgreens at 3340 Pelham Parkway and Club 31 at 2969 Pelham Parkway.