The much discussed and debated “Rails-to-Trails” project appears to be back on track after the Fayette City Council reversed its vote from the last meeting and again authorized the purchase of the land from Norfolk-Southern Railroad during its Oct. 8 meeting. At the council’s Sept. 24 meeting, Councilman Jason Cowart made a motion that was seconded by Councilman Jerry Nichols to rescind the authority of the city to purchase the land.
The Fayette City Council approved its fiscal year 2020 budget during its Sept. 24 meeting. A local resident, Bobby Avant, led the council in prayer prior to the beginning of the meeting. He also addressed the council concerning the purchase of land from Norfolk-Southern Railroad for the proposed Rails-to-Trails. “My first observation is that the price the railroad is charging is outrageous,” Avant said.”The fact that a donor has come forth to help with the purchase does not make it any less egregious. Building the trail is also based on getting future grants that may not happen.”
During the Fayette City Council’s Sept. 10 meeting, a motion was approved to remove a proposed ordinance from consideration concerning Sunday alcohol sales in the city. All council members were present for the meeting. Councilman Jason Cowart made a motion to remove the ordinance from consideration, and the motion was seconded by Councilman Eddy Campbell. The motion was approved unanimously.
Scott Davis, pastor of Fayette First Baptist Church, addressed the Fayette City Council at its Aug. 27 meeting concerning a proposed ordinance to sell alcohol on Sundays. “I felt kind of blindsided and disappointed when I saw in The Times-Record that Sunday alcohol sales are being considered by the council,” Davis said. “I opposed the sale of alcohol in the city, and I want to go on record opposing Sunday alcohol sales. I’m against alcohol sales of any kind and I will always speak out in opposition.”
During its Aug. 13 meeting, the Fayette City Council took the first step toward considering the passage of an ordinance that would allow for Sunday alcohol sales. All council members were present for the meeting. Councilman Jason Cowart said the Alabama legislature passed a law this year that allows municipalities already selling alcohol to pass an ordinance to sell alcohol on Sundays between the hours of noon and 8 p.m.
During a special called meeting on July 16, the Fayette City Council voted to purchase the land from Norfolk Southern Railroad to build a walking trail. Councilman Jason Cowart was absent from the meeting with all of the other council members present. Mayor Ray Nelson scheduled the meeting during the council’s regular meeting last week for the expressed purpose of voting on the issue concerning the “Rails-to-Trails” land purchase.
Fayette Mayor Ray Nelson said at the June 25 meeting of the Fayette City Council that he wanted the city to try one more effort to find the means for the proposed Rails-to-Trails. All council members were present for the meeting. Nelson said that he received a letter from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), dated June 17, stating that the city has 30 days to notify ADECA of its “intent or lack thereof to proceed with the (Rails-to-Trails) project.”
The Fayette City Council heard a presentation at its June 11 meeting from Fayette County resident Greg Lowery concerning the growing, production, manufacturing and distribution of hemp-related products in Fayette County. Councilman Jason Cowart was absent from the meeting due to an obligation with the National Guard. All other council members were present for the meeting. “Hemp is not marijuana. Hemp is not illegal,” Lowery told the council and the audience in attendance. “Hemp production can help save the family farm.”
Following the Fayette City Council’s regularly scheduled meeting on May 28, the Fayette City Council held a lengthy work session to primarily discuss the proposed “Rails-to-Trails” project.
Councilman Jerry Nichols, Councilwoman Linda McCraw and City Clerk Dawn Clapp were absent from the meeting. Assistant Clerk Sherry Fowler assumed the duties of Clapp at the council meeting.