Alabaster making progress on damaged roads, mayor says

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Alabaster officials are making some progress on bringing several damaged neighborhood roads up to city standards, Mayor David Frings told the Alabaster City Council during a Feb. 3 meeting.

The city is currently working to bring sub-standard roads in six neighborhoods and the Saginaw Commercial Complex up to Alabaster’s codes.

Frings said he is in contact with the developers of the Golden Meadows and Shelby Farms subdivisions, and roads in those neighborhoods could be repaired relatively quickly.

“Those are two of our more promising cases,” Frings said.

The developer of Golden Meadows is preparing to install the final seal coat on the neighborhood’s roads, and a new developer likely will take over the Shelby Farms subdivision on April 1, Frings said.

“The developer of Shelby Farms is getting a new developer to take (the subdivision) over, and take liability for the roads,” Frings said.

Roads in the Tanglewood by the Creek subdivision likely will be fixed when warmer weather arrives, Frings told the council.

“We’ve got the bond money, and we’ve hired a contractor to fix the roads,” Frings said, noting many of Tanglewood’s roads have already been repaired. “As soon as the weather breaks, that one will be done. Some of the cul-de-sacs are still looking pretty rough.”

The city has made little progress in getting bond money the developers of the Mountain Lakes and Fox Valley subdivisions put up before they began work on the neighborhoods.

Although the city found the developers of both subdivisions to be in default of their bonds last year, Alabaster officials have not heard from the bond companies representing the developers in several months, Frings said.

“We sent the cost estimate of repairing the roads to the bond company in November, and we are still waiting to hear from them,” Frings said of the company representing Fox Valley, noting the city is in a similar situation with the company representing Mountain Lakes.

The city recently discovered a bank owns several lots in the Grandeview subdivision, and is attempting to work with the bank and the neighborhood’s bond company.

“We will look at that one from the standpoint of the bond company and the bank,” Frings said.

The city likely will go to court with the developer of the Saginaw Commercial Complex in an attempt to retrieve the bond money needed to repair the roads in the development, Frings said.

“This (damaged roads issue) is not an issue we’ve discussed recently, but it’s an issue we’ve been working on,” Frings told the council. “We are trying to get this done so we can have periodic updates and make progress on these.

“The longer the roads sit, the worse they will get,” Frings said. “They will eventually all have to be fixed.”

In other business, the council:

– Appointed Alabaster resident Bobby Harris as the city’s new water board director.

– Voted unanimously to request the Alabama Department of Transportation install a traffic signal at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Shelby County 87.