Alabaster discusses upcoming projects during first virtual town hall meeting

Published 1:48 pm Thursday, July 6, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

ALABASTER – Alabaster recently held its first ever virtual town hall meeting and shared news on upcoming projects within the city.

During the virtual town hall on June 29, Alabaster Mayor Scott Brakefield and Alabaster City Council President Sophie Martin shared information on upcoming projects in the city and answered questions.

“This is just a big part of our effort to be as transparent as possible, to empower our residents with the information that you need here in the city,” Martin said.

Martin and Brakefield began the virtual meeting by providing residents with an update on Highway 119 widening project which began work in August 2022.

“This is a long-awaited project that finally went underway and is in full progress,” Martin said. “We know, right now, traveling (Hwy) 119 can be a challenge, but we do anticipate after it’s finished that it will definitely be worth the wait.”

Brakefield shared that the city expects to see the project completed towards the end of 2023 up to the first quarter of 2024.

Alabaster also provided an update on projects on Highway 31, including resurfacing and the extension of turn lanes.

“That project probably about 95 percent complete,” Brakefield said. “They have some finishing touches on striping as well as silk-coat things, but that one’s about to be completed. So that’s another transportation project that we love to see in the city.”

Martin and Brakefield discussed the new traffic lights that are coming Patriots Park and Veterans Park.

“The resident’s safety is at the forefront of the city and so adding these new traffic lights will not only improve traffic flow at both of these areas but will also improve travel safety,” Martin said. “We are really looking forward to those coming to both Veterans Park and the new Patriots Park.”

Brakefield shared that the city’s goal is to have both lights operational by the end of this year.

The new Alabaster Police Station is seeing progress after multiple delays and the city hopes to see the department move into the building in August or September.

“I hope 100 percent of our residents never have to go to our police station, but if they do, they’re going to one of the nice police stations in the state of Alabama,” Brakefield said. “It’s such a reward to see our police officers, our police administration really be excited about this new building that’s coming. It is something that we built it in mind for growth and it something that will definitely stand the test of time, and we will be comfortable inside of that building for many years to come.”

Martin shared that the grand opening of the new Patriots Park off of Industrial Road will be happening soon. There will be pickleball courts, walking trails and playground equipment.

Construction on renovations to both “Peanut” Jim Davenport Field and Larry Simmons Stadium are underway.

“We’ll be playing football at Larry Simons this fall with our youth program,” Brakefield said. “We’ll be sharing that facility with the Thompson Middle School baseball program and the freshman at ‘Peanut’ Jim Davenport Field in the spring.”

Brakefield shared that the city also plans on refurbishing the playing fields at Veterans Park.

“It’s kind of crazy to think that Veterans Park is 20 years old,” he said. “What we’re going to bid for and trying to get some feedback on is a total remodel of the baseball field, softball fields as well as work on our parking, our back parking lot, lighting the back parking lot.”

The city also plans to add six pickle ball courts as well as a state-of-the-art playground on the back of the park.

“(It’s) another investment in our parks, our trail system, things that allow our communities to get out and enjoy that quality of life that we so much are striving for,” Brakefield said.

The city shared news on the progress of planning the city’s upcoming recreation center and new library which will be built where the old Sixth Grade Center and Intermediate School was.

“Plans are in progress,” Martin said. “We’ve seen a few layouts, some of those are still being finalized. I can’t say enough about what that’s going to do for our city and what it’s going to bring to our residents as far as resources.”

Brakefield shared that the city is the beginning stages of getting community involvement in regards to a comprehensive plan due to recent development.

“Typically, we will do a comprehensive plan every 10 years,” he said. “But because of we could potentially have a larger housing development coming in on the south end of the community, we’re in the process and the beginning of the stages of getting community involvement in regard to our comprehensive plan.”

In other news, Brakefield and Martin also discussed the following projects during the virtual town hall meeting:

  • The restoration of the historic Siluria water tower
  • The repaving of Alabaster Boulevard
  • The Amphitheater and Senior Center Expansion Project
  • The city’s upcoming in-house EMS service
  • Expansion of the city’s trail system
  • The city’s new grant company