City annexes C&J TechPublished 11:57am Friday, June 28, 2013
Alexander City just got a little larger – 24.19 acres to be exact.
The city council voted unanimously in a special called meeting Thursday to annex property in the old Russell Brands complex, where C & J Tech is currently located.
Randy Thomas, community development coordinator, said that the matter was supposed to be considered at the council’s last meeting, but that the information was not available in time.
With the property set to change hands today, Thomas said the council didn’t want to leave anything to chance.
“If we didn’t have a called meeting before tomorrow, we would have been dealing with the owners of C & J Tech,” Thomas said.
While C & J Tech might have opted to go forward with the annexation, Thomas said they didn’t want to leave anything to chance.
Without the approval of the landowners, Thomas said the process of annexation involves the state legislature and is a lot more complicated.
“Since we already had Russell’s request, there was less chance of something going wrong,” Thomas said.
Council chairman Bob Howard said that Russell Brands and the city have an agreement that any land they sell be annexed prior to the sale.
“It doesn’t always work that way – some property has been sold without being annexed,” Howard said, adding that the property across from the Russell Retail store was sold before it was annexed.
Thomas said that the annexation will help the city, as it will require to C & J Tech to pay the same taxes as other businesses currently in the city.
“C & J Tech was located in the police jurisdiction, but it wasn’t part of the city,” Thomas said. “When you are in the police jurisdiction, you get the fire and police protection without paying the taxes. Now, part of their ad valorem tax will go to our city schools.”
The annexation will also change the price C & J Tech pays for business licenses.
“Outside the city limits, their business licenses are half price,” Thomas said.
The benefits don’t stop there, Thomas explained.
“We will also have zoning and enforcement powers,” Thomas said.
Thomas used Russell Brands property on Lee Street, which is set to be annexed at Monday’s council meeting, as an example of what this would mean.
“If you have drove down Lee Street (lately), you might have noticed how tall the grass is out there,” Thomas said. “That is outside the city limits, so we can’t do anything about it. Once the council annexes that property, however, we can immediately send Steve Morgan out there to tell them to cut it.”
The next meeting of the Alexander City Council is set for Monday, July 1.