Baird

Cliff Williams / The Outlook Alexander City Mayor Woody Baird, left, discusses hazard pay for first responders at an Alexander City City Council meeting the day before he started to experience sinus symptoms.

Alexander City Mayor Woody Baird has tested positive for COVID-19.

Baird said Wednesday morning he and his wife Kim have tested positive for the coronavirus but had not felt very sick since experiencing symptoms more than a week ago.

“The only symptoms we have experienced are loss of smell and taste,” Baird said. “We actually thought we were going through the bout of annual sinus issues we experience every year. On New Year's Day, I was cooking rutabagas and realized I could not smell them, so we went and got tested.”

Baird said they started to experience mild sinus symptoms Dec. 29. Baird was at a special called meeting of the Alexander City City Council Dec. 28 where the council passed hazard pay under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for first responders in the city.

Baird said they tried to get tested Saturday but could not and COVID-19 tests were administered Monday.

“Right now we are quarantined at home,” Baird said. “I intend to return to the office on Monday.”

Baird called into a regular council meeting Monday Jan. 4.

A special called Alexander City City Council meeting has been called for 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 11 to discuss and vote on a proposed resolution concerning a purchase sale agreement with Lisciotti Development Corp. It is a project for the transfer of property associated with an ordinance that did not get unanimous consent for consideration at the Jan. 4 meeting.

The property to be conveyed to Lisciotti through the Lake Martin Economic Development Authority is 2.35 acres, adjacent to Recreation Drive and fronts U.S. Highway 280 and Jim Nabors Drive. It would leave the city 1.76 acres on U.S. Highway 280 for future use and limits still being negotiated with Liscotti.

“We have already had executive sessions about this,” community development director Al Jones said at the Jan. 4 meeting. “We are working out that contract. We sent it back; they sent it back. We feel like we are getting close.”

Jones said the contract would limit certain types of businesses from coming to the remaining 1.76 acres.

“It is a very narrow agreement we are making,” Jones said.

Liscotti is a real estate development company located in New Jersey. On its website it highlights projects with Best Buy, Tractor Supply Company, Target, Dicks Sporting Goods, Chilis, Dollar General, Starbucks, Dollar Tree, Bed Bath & Beyond, Noodles Company, TGI Fridays, Olive Garden, Five Guys, Kohls, CVS, Sherwin Williams, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Chick-fil-A.

The council made no mention of which business was interested in the lot and Jones said the executive sessions were held because the “retailer could pull out if the name was made public.”

Baird is the fourth Alabama mayor known to have recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Auburn Mayor Ron Anders announced earlier this week he tested positive.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin was hospitalized on Jan. 4 for COVID-19 pneumonia and remains in stable condition, Woodfin’s office said.

Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling said in a statement he tested positive for COVID-19 Jan. 1.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.