Action pending on old Moore-Handley

Published 1:36 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Pelham City Council over the next few weeks likely will discuss the future of a proposed plan to purchase the former Moore-Handley property off U.S. 31 and sell a portion of the facility to Summer Classics. (File)

 By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Pelham City Council could call a special meeting to discuss the possible purchase of the vacant Moore-Handley building on U.S. 31, council members said during an Aug. 6 meeting.

During the meeting, Pelham Mayor Don Murphy said he, Councilman Bill Meadows and Council President Teresa Nichols were scheduled to meet Aug. 8 with representatives from Shelby County and the Summer Classics business to discuss the project.

During a mid-June meeting, the council voted unanimously to allow Murphy to negotiate the purchase of the Moore-Handley building with the HHH Acquisition Company. During the June meeting, council members said the city is looking to partner with Shelby County and the Shelby County Economic and Industrial Development Authority to purchase the 30-acre property.

If the city purchases the property, Murphy will work to negotiate a contract for the city to sell 17 acres of the building to the Summer Classics furniture company.

Murphy said the current owner of the Moore-Handley property recently returned from a trip outside the country, and said the Aug. 8 meeting will determine the future of the project.

“I think we can make a decision after we meet with them on Wednesday,” Murphy said during the Aug. 6 council meeting.

Meadows said he would be in favor of holding a special-called council meeting to discuss the project before the council’s next regular meeting, which is scheduled for Aug. 20.

“This is over 100 jobs, and we have been working on it too long,” Meadows said, suggesting the council hold the special meeting as soon as Aug. 10. “We need to move on this if it works out. If it’s a go, I think we should pursue this with vigor.”

Councilman Steve Powell said he “would have to really be compelled” to be in favor of calling a special meeting before the Aug. 20 meeting.

“We are talking about millions of dollars here,” Powell said, noting he would like ample time to review the project before acting on it.