Williston gives first nod to apartment complex
A rezoning request on property slated for a middle-income apartment complex was given first reading by the Williston Town Council following a public hearing on Dec. 18.
The 3.75 acres of property is located on Main and Dicks streets. The apartment complex would have 32 to 38 units.
Gwen Jenkins of 265 Dicks Street, Williston, voiced her opposition to the rezoning request, saying she totally opposed low income housing being located next to her property. “This will lower the value of my property,” she said.
But Town Administrator Kenny Cook assured Jenkins and the Williston Council that the project is “not low income housing.
“This is not subsidized or Section 8 housing,” said Cook. “We’re talking about nice housing.”
Cook said the project “would be a net positive for the town.” He also said the apartments would “be for people who have certain means. This is for younger families, seniors, people who might be teachers at the local schools for their first teaching job.”
Cook, in a memo to council, noted, “It is estimated that a development of this size could produce as much as $25,000 a year in additional water and sewer fees. In addition to utilities sales, the property would generate additional property taxes and business license fees for the General Fund. An added benefit would be the infusion of additional housing options and the potential to increase the downtown population that in turn may frequent our downtown businesses.”
“We believe if this project comes to fruition it would be a win-win for the community,” stated Cook.
He said a representative of Trustmark Construction was present and could talk with Jenkins and others about the project.
According to their website www.trustmark.com, Trustmark Construction is an Alabama-based construction company specializing in multi-family and light commercial construction and development. Trustmark Construction is active throughout the Southeastern United States. Trustmark’s corporate office is located in Florence, Alabama.
The council was given copies of details for other projects done by the company. The company website also has links to its projects.
The council unanimously approved first reading to rezone the property from Core Commercial to Residential 5.
A second reading is required for final approval.
The council also approved second reading of a request from Foy Dyches to rezone his property on Springfield Road and Elko Street from Neighborhood Commercial to Highway Commercial.
Cook said Dyches plans to have a pet crematorium on the property.
Councilman Brett Williams recused himself from the discussion of the request due to a conflict of interest. He left the meeting temporarily until after the vote.
The council also approved a proposal from James Tulius for a mowing contract at the Wastewater Treatment Plant spray fields.
“There is no monetary cost to the Town of Williston,” said Cook. “In exchange for maintaining the fields, Mr. Tulius gets the use of the fields to grow hay for use in feeding his 70 to 80 heads of cattle. The hay is for his private use and is not to be used to sell to others. In addition, it cannot be used to feed dairy cattle.”
The town had received another proposal from Doug Davis but Cook recommended the council approve the proposal from Tulius “because of his known ability to perform the services needed. He has been doing this work for decades and has the necessary equipment to perform the work. His bid response was also much more detailed, giving us further assurance that the basic needs of the fields will be met.”
The council members agreed.
Outgoing Williston Town Councilmen Dwayne Cagle and Kevin Wall were recognized by Mayor Jason Stapleton and the council.
Cagle was defeated for re-election in November while Wall did not run for re-election. Cagle said he appreciated everyone’s vote and he was sorry that he was unable to campaign more “but I had a family situation to tend to and family comes first.”
The December meeting was their last meeting as councilmen.
Each was presented a plaque for their contributions on council.
In other business the council:
• Noted the town’s offices would be closed on Dec. 25 and 26 as well as Jan. 1 for holidays.
• Thanked town employees for their efforts before and after the town’s Christmas events.
• Was asked to consider a meeting for their annual retreat at the end of January or first of February.