Hoover Council approves de-annexation of old Berry High School property

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

HOOVER—The Hoover City Council unanimously adopted a resolution to de-annex the former Berry High School property after a second reading during a May 16 meeting.

The Hoover Council voted to de-annex the property following the Hoover Board of Education’s April 18 approval of an agreement selling the former Berry High School property and facility to Vestavia Hills City Schools.

The $11 million sale agreement with Vestavia Hills City Schools is contingent upon the city’s de-annexation of the property on Columbiana Road, city attorney Charlie Waldrep explained.

“The de-annexation is not dependent on the sale, the sale is contingent upon the de-annexation,” Waldrep said.

Although the city council voted to de-annex the former Berry High School property, the de-annexation will only become effective after it is ordered by the Jefferson County probate judge. Waldrep said the city will not file the de-annexation with the probate office until they are confident “the sale will go through and the Board of Education will get their money.”

Hoover resident Dan Fulton spoke out against the de-annexation, suggesting the City Council instead consider purchasing the property for $11 million. Fulton said the property could be used for a development that would bring revenue into the city, such as a “luxury resort hotel” or a retirement community.

City Finance Director Robert Yeager explained an $11 million purchase would reduce the city’s general fund reserves by one-third.

“It would adversely affect our AAA rating,” Yeager said, noting the importance of maintaining the high rating for the bond issue for the city’s sportsplex.

In other business, the Hoover City Council:

-Accepted a bid for street sweeping services from Sweeping Corporation of American, Inc.

-Adopted a resolution authorizing Hoover to use the same electronic vote counting devices as Jefferson County.

-Granted conditional use approval for the sale of retail wine and beer and approved an ABC application for the restaurant PHO280.