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Council says 'no' to $89,500 land proposal

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
It's been said good fences make good neighbors. But it may take a moat to keep good relations between the city of Hartselle and a local landowner whose home will soon be surrounded by a city park.
On Tuesday, Hartselle's City Council rejected an $89,500 request from homeowner Bobby Jenkins. Jenkins' home sits on 1.1 acres at 621 Groover Road, adjacent to Sparkman Park. The city is currently developing soccer fields on the land near Jenkins' home. Once the soccer fields are complete, Jenkins' property will jut into the middle of the city park.
Jenkins has been in negotiations with the city over the purchase of his property. The land and the home were recently appraised for $93,000 but some city officials have questioned that figure.
The city had eyed the property because it would give it continuous frontage on Groover Road. More than a year ago, the city asked Jenkins to have a marketing survey conducted, which he did. The city then hired the appraiser.
Councilman Don Hall – who voted to purchase the property – said the advantages of owning the land outweighed the cost.
"The way it (the property) juts out into Sparkman Park, it would be a problem with people walking across their land," Hall said.
That's the concern of homeowner Kathy Jenkins, too.
"Each one of you (city council members) would not want to live inside a park," Jenkins said. "I'm not talking near a park, I'm talking in a park. How are people going to get to these fields? How would you like people going across your land?"
Hall and Councilman Dick Carter voted to purchase the land. Council members Tom Chappell, Alvin Abercrombie and Frank Jones and Mayor Clif Knight voted against the proposal.
Jones said his vote "boiled down to three things: want, need and have to.
"The city needs the land but it doesn't need the house," he said. "The house becomes a problem the city has to deal with. I'm against paying that much for that property. We need it, but we don't have to have it."

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