Transportation Center

Cliff Williams / The Outlook The old Russell Corp. transportation center will be used by Central Alabama Community College for its CDL truck driving program.

A building the City of Alexander City would likely tear down has found a new use.

The old Russell Corp. transportation building across from the city's garage will now house the Central Alabama Community College (CACC) truck driving program. The small 1,000 square feet building will be a massive upgrade for the program.

“Our current facility is not the most adequate place that we would like to have,” CACC’s Linda Williams said to the Alexander City City Council at its Monday meeting. “We have been searching for a place for a while now. We have a small trailer on our lot near 280 that we use. It needs a lot of work. It has restroom issues. There is one restroom there and it is not a very good place. We actually have a porta potty unfortunately that we have to use.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has more students in the program as demand for truck drivers has increased.

“We have several recruiters that come continuously,” Williams said. “Our students are highly sought after. It is kind of embarrassing to have them come out.”

Williams said CACC would paint the building and make a few changes to allow instructor Willie Brooks to run the program.

“Our program has been running since 2003 and he has been there since the start,” Williams said. “He runs a top notch program for our community college.”

Community development director Al Jones said the building in the Russell Corp. campus was considered unusable in the area for the recruitment of industry and would have been torn down when funds were available.

The city also gets other benefits besides occupying an empty building. CACC will help city employees who might be interested in obtaining a CDL or who need refresher training to use the program.

The council approved rezoning multiple parcels adjacent to Comer Street to R-2, a single family home medium density residential designation. The property is currently owned by the city.

“Several years ago the city purchased the property because a business said it could use it if its business was successful,” community development director Al Jones said. “It is about 100 to 120 acres and currently zoned for industrial use.”

Since the property was purchased by the city, Bradberry Pointe apartments across the street have been built and the business failed to purchase the property from the city.

“We have had some interest in developing it as residential,” Jones said. “I’m not saying it will be bought tomorrow but we feel it is better for that now.”

The R-2 designation does not allow the construction of apartments.

A public hearing was held before the vote where no one signed in to speak for or against the rezoning. No comments were made in the public hearing.

In other action the Alexander City City Council:

• Approved the minutes of the July 6 meeting

• Approved a resolution authorizing the mayor to terminate the contract for maintenance of the water tank on Washington Street that has been demolished

• Approved an ABC license location change for Ocie and Belles

• Approved an ABC license transfer for Amerimart

• Approved an ABC license for Ronin Sushi and Bar

The next meeting of the Alexander City City Council is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 2. A work session has been scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 28.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.