Kayaking coming for creek?

Published 2:00 am Wednesday, June 26, 2013

With outdoor recreation deemed a $10 billion per year industry, Brewton officials may soon have a chance to get in on the financial action of that business.
Connie Baggett, programs manager for the City of Brewton, addressed council members Monday to ask that a public hearing be held that could put the city in line for some financial benefits.
“We are on the cusp of getting a slice of that billion dollar pie,” Baggett told the council. “We have a chance to develop kayaking, tubing and equestrian trails as part of our outdoor recreation here.”
Baggett said the city-owned former Shell station building could be leased for use as a small business incubator of sorts for additional revenues for the city.
The property Baggett referred to in her presentation is the former convenience store located at the intersection of Persimmon Street and South Boulevard adjacent to Jennings Park near downtown Brewton.
City Attorney Ed Hines said by allowing a public hearing on the matter of leasing the property, the council would be able to move forward with that kind of arrangement.
“This would allow the city to negotiate leases that could impact our economic development,” Hines said. “There are some very strong economic benefits in leasing that property. It would also help with maintenance and security of the park area. To allow the public to have an input is good.”
Council members agreed to hear from the public on the matter and set a public hearing for 4:30 p.m. July 8 in the council chambers at city hall.
Also during Monday’s meeting, council members voted unanimously to disallow the sale of vehicles in vacant or unauthorized area around the city.
The topic was approached in a June 11 meeting of the council when members discussed making the vehicle sales unlawful in the city in an effort to clean up the city.
With the passing of Monday’s ordinance, it is now unlawful for anyone to park automobiles for sale on commercially zoned property that is not licensed for the sale of automobiles or motorized vehicles. Violations would result in a misdemeanor charge and, if the person is convicted, a fine and court costs. The ordinance also covers car sales on residential property, limiting residential property owners to selling one automobile or motorized vehicle per year. Those vehicles must also have been personally owned for at least one year.