Pelham council unanimously approves purchase of Moore-Handley property

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

PELHAM — The Pelham City Council unanimously approved Pelham Mayor Don Murphy to negotiate the purchase of the vacant Moore-Handley building on U.S. 31 from the HHH Acquisition Company during a regularly scheduled council meeting June 18.

City Council President Teresa Nichols, along with council members Ron Scott, Steve Powell, Karyl Rice and Bill Meadows, all voted in favor of a plan for the city to partner with Shelby County and the Shelby County Economic and Industrial Development Authority and purchase the 30-acre property for a total of $3.4 million.

During a pre-council meeting work session, Nichols reported Shelby County has committed to provide $1.2 million toward the property, with the City of Pelham contributing $2.2 million. Nichols said the building owners have asked for $1 million in cash and will finance the remaining $1.2 million the City of Pelham will owe.

Following the land purchase, Murphy will negotiate a contract for the City of Pelham to sell 17 acres in the building to Summer Classics furniture company, which plans to utilize the space for a warehouse, for $3 million. Summer Classics’ showroom off Shelby County 52 will not be affected, Nichols said.

Scott, who said the company plans to add approximately 130 employees at the warehouse, said the move will help boost the economy.

“If we don’t do something, within two years we would be hearing from the citizens, ‘Why didn’t (the city council) do something?'” Scott said. “We’re talking about renovating what is an eyesore on (U.S.) 31. This is a catalyst for doing something on (U.S.) 31.”

In other business, council members heard an emotional appeal from Hoover resident Judy Berneski, who owns a townhome on Canyon Park Drive in Pelham that has suffered mold damage due to water drainage issues in a neighboring townhome.

Berneski cited the City of Pelham Code of Ordinance Chapter 4 concerning damaged buildings within city limits and appealed for help from council members, who agreed to take a closer look at documents she provided as evidence of damage and the costs to repair the damage and see if the council has the authority to take any action.

“We need to give you due diligence,” Meadows said. “This is the first I’ve heard of it. I will give 150 percent turning over stones.”