Saddle Lake decision likely coming June 25
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
Shelby County Probate Judge Jim Fuhrmeister likely will not rule on a second petition seeking to annex the Saddle Lake Farms subdivision into Alabaster until June 25, he said during a June 19 phone interview.
“Next Wednesday is the drop-dead date for me to issue an order, and I do not anticipate issuing an order before that time,” Fuhrmeister said.
The petition is the second Fuhrmeister has received from some Saddle Lake Farms residents requesting annexation into Alabaster. In May, Fuhrmeister ruled the original Saddle Lake petition did not have enough signatures to allow him to set an election on the matter.
During its June 9 meeting, the Alabaster City Council voted unanimously to accept the second petition and send it to Fuhrmeister for review. Alabaster City Attorney Jeff Brumlow claimed the second petition had more than the required number of signatures to gain Fuhrmeister’s approval.
Brumlow previously said if the Probate Court approves the second petition, Fuhrmeister likely will set an election in mid-to-late July to allow Saddle Lake residents to decide if they will annex into the city.
If the neighborhood’s residents vote to annex into the city, the neighborhood will no longer be in unincorporated Shelby County, and will be zoned for the Alabaster City School System.
If Saddle Lake is not in Alabaster city limits for the upcoming school year, some students in the neighborhood would be rezoned for Columbiana schools as a result of separation negotiations between the Alabaster and Shelby County school systems.
The annexation issue has sparked debate among Saddle Lake residents over the past several months, as some said they want to annex into Alabaster to be a part of the Alabaster City School System and others said they do not want to annex for financial and taxation reasons.