Our View

Alexander City’s municipal government wants a drainage dispute with local businessman Kenneth Ledbetter to be water under the bridge.

Ledbetter owns 3 acres, a warehouse and machine shop at Central Avenue and Lee Street, near the former Russell Corp. Main Office, which is on property the city owns. In February, the city bought an additional 11.25 acres at the site from contractor Roy Granger for $275,000, basically to get it cleared of rubble from demolished Russell buildings.

Several months ago, late Alexander City Mayor Jim Nabors and Ledbetter worked out an agreement in which the city would trade a half-acre of unusable property so Ledbetter could control drainage on his land in exchange for splitting the cost of materials to finish a large drainage ditch Ledbetter started. In the meantime, Granger and Ledbetter set about trying to grade Ledbetter’s property. But the city council declined to take action on the agreement and since then water coming from the city’s property has drained onto Ledbetter’s, contributing to flooding in his warehouse.

The city council never authorized any work at the site and Ledbetter can do what he wants on his property but time and energy that would be wasted on finding someone to blame should be used to come up with a solution because the situation has become a major imbroglio for the city. One option could be as simple as the city taking dirt off its higher property and putting it on Ledbetter’s land. Men of good will can make sure the city and Ledbetter benefit from a mutual solution.