Columbiana wants speed limit lowered around 70/26 intersection

COLUMBIANA – Columbiana city officials will push for the speed limit to be lowered on Alabama 70 coming into town.

Mayor Stancil Handley told the Columbiana City Council at its meeting on Tuesday, May 5, that concerns have been raised about the speed limit of 55 miles per hour near the area of the intersection of 70 and Shelby County 26.

A traffic signal was installed at the intersection because of the construction of homes in the new Springs Crossing subdivision, but the signal may be compounding the problem.

City and police officials said large trucks leaving Columbiana get up to speed and oftentimes have trouble stopping if the traffic signal at the intersection changes from green.

“It’s a safety issue as far as I’m concerned,” Handley said.

Other issues include difficulty turning out at other intersections in the area because of the speed of passing vehicles.

Handley said the developer of Springs Crossing would also like to see the speed limit lowered because it could better facilitate retail development in the area.

The Council also heard that the plan for the final house in Sector 1 of the Springs Crossing development has been submitted, and construction on Sector 2 homes might begin around the middle of May.

Sector 2 will include 35 more homes; 14 of the lots have already been sold, said Dale Lucas with Columbiana’s Environment Services department.

In other business, the Council:

  • Heard from Handley that responding to the 2020 Census will be mandatory for all city employees. Workers should come in City Hall to fill out their Census questionnaire, or if they have already done so, to verify their response to city officials. Columbiana’s response rate is up to 57.1 percent in the latest figures released, but Handley said the rate will be 100 percent among city employees. “We’re foolish not to do that,” Handley said about the Census’ importance for federal funding, representation and more.
  • Heard from Handley that officials are studying programs that offer opportunities to recoup additional expenses that have been incurred as a result of the ongoing pandemic. One such expense has been the city’s garbage service, as the number of loads taken to the Shelby County Landfill have increased significantly.
  • Heard an update on the progress at Old Mill Square. All three tiers of the large fountain are in place, the signs for the sign tower have arrived and the Walton Street parking lot has been paved, Handley said. The mayor estimated that all work could be completed in the next two weeks.
  • Approved renewing contracts with Community Consultants Inc. for grant application services and with Utility Engineering Consultants LLC for engineering, design and inspection services. Both entities assist the city with grant applications and are only paid out of grant proceeds.