The Pelham City Council announces Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month

Published 11:19 am Wednesday, September 6, 2023

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PELHAM –  The first Pelham City Council meeting of September began with a brief prayer and a moment of silence in remembrance of Reginald D. Adams, a graduate of Pelham High School who passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 23.

After the moment of silence, the City Council considered a proposal regarding the changing of zoning boundaries in the city of Pelham. Specifically, they were asked to consider changing the zoning of property on the east side of Huntley Parkway from mixed-use to residential townhouse. The proposal was put forth by Tower Homes, and the company’s president Price Hightower spoke at the meeting in support of the zoning change.

Hightower spoke about his company’s long history with the city of Pelham including their role as the first building team in the Ballantrae golf course. He noted that the group’s plans for the property if rezoned would be to build a series of townhouses, which would encourage further development and growth of the city of Pelham.

“We presented this concept to the city staff and we received their support,” Hightower said. “We also presented it to the BCA to get variance and we received unanimous support over the phone. So we appreciate the work that the city has given us and the guidance that they’ve given us on our plan. In conclusion, we see this concept as a win for the city and a win for us. We think anything that decreases density, increases traffic and creates more affordable homeownership opportunities for the city is a win.”

After Hightower finished his presentation, the floor was opened to anyone who wished to present an opposing argument for the zoning change. None was given, and the City Council decided to speak on the matter further at their Monday, Sept. 25 meeting.

Following the discussion of Tower Homes’s potential new construction, Mayor Gary Waters gave a proclamation.

Waters took a moment to discuss the growing rates of Pediatric cancer in the United States. He was accompanied by Dustin and Lacretia Riekeberg, who lost their eldest daughter Destiney to cancer several years ago.

“The number one cause of death by disease in children is cancer,” Waters said. “Thousands of children will be diagnosed before their twentieth birthday. Childhood Cancer families experience a great deal of financial toxicity, associated with out-of-pocket expenses for drugs and other treatments.”

Waters then invited Dustin Riekeberg to speak on his family’s experience with the disease, and the foundation created in their daughter’s honor.

“The foundation has three pillars: research, awareness and education,” Dustin said. “From a research standpoint, to donate $60,000 to Children’s Hospital to fund research to get one step closer to a cure. From an awareness standpoint we are on all social media platforms consistently educating around the disease and ways to encourage power to contribute and supporting and attending events bring awareness to the cause.”

Riekeberg and Waters concluded by reminding the audience that September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, and encouraging citizens of Pelham to help support the cause.

Other topics discussed included:

-The installation of the first thermal traffic cameras in Pelham.

-The formation of an HOA bowling tournament.

-The Pelham tennis team’s “The Potatoes” and their tournament successes, first in state and second in sectionals.

The resolutions passed included:

-Maintenance of several public roads in Oak Mountain State Park.

-A liquor license for Mi Pueblo’s outdoor festival, celebrating the independence days of 8 Latin countries.

-Retail wine and beer applications for Marathon Grocery and Circle K.

-The settlement of a lease agreement between the city of Pelham and Thrive Operations LLC.

Several city council members expressed excitement about the passing of these resolutions.

“Tonight, we had three resolutions for liquor licenses,” Councilmember David Coram said. “We also had several in regards to new zoning in our city. This is exciting stuff because this means that people want to do business in Pelham. People are wanting to develop in our city, which is awesome because that’s tax dollars that come into the coffers. We will be able to provide more services for our citizens so it’s exciting to see all the activity.”

No public comments were given, and the meeting was adjourned.