Hoover Council votes to support ALDOT plan

The Hoover City Council voted to pass a resolution supporting the Alabama Department of Transportation elevated toll lanes plan for U.S. 280 during the April 19 council meeting.

During the meeting, several citizens came up to express concerns about the elevated lanes plan. William Sweet of Inverness said citizens in his community are worried about construction, noise and business interests, among other concerns.

“Our concern is (the elevated lanes) being so high, being above the tree line, it would be even noisier,” he said. “It would turn Highway 280 in Inverness much more residential than it is commercial.”

Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos said the resolution is designed to facilitate further discussion between ALDOT and local governments.

“My fear is that if we don’t support this, they’ve told us ‘This is it, this is the plan,’” Petelos said. “If we continue to support this program, we can continue our dialogue. At some point in the future, if we don’t feel comfortable, we can pass another resolution and say we don’t support it anymore.”

Petelos said he recognizes the problems with the elevated lanes plan, but he believes it is important to try to get answers instead of totally rejecting the plan.

“I just don’t want us to pull the plug too soon,” he said. “That’s why I support this.”

The resolution states the city supports the “progressive” plan because of “significant traffic congestion, which has had a negative economic impact.”

The resolution also states the city supports the plan because ALDOT is providing all the funding for the project. Total funding for the plan is expected to reach $800 million.

In other business, the council:

-Appointed Donna Frazier to fill the open spot on the Hoover Board of Education. Frazier, the current Board of Education president, will begin her second term in May.

-Authorized Petelos to apply for a $10,000 CAWACO grant for a water quality improvement project at Veterans Park.

-Amended the city’s Municipal Code to allow the discharge of firearms within facilities designed and constructed for the safe discharge of firearms.