Ballfield access topic of ordinance discussion in Heflin
November 14, 2017

By Bill Wilson
The Anniston Star

The Heflin City Council passed a bevy of ordinances Tuesday night, including business license modifications and another one that rezoned property. One ordinance that did not pass, however, concerned Parks and Recreation Department rules and regulations, though it was discussed last week during a work session.  

City Councilman Shannon Roberts had several issues with the ordinance as written but was most concerned with the baseball and softball fields being closed to the public when they were not in use by the city’s sports leagues. An ordinance has to have two readings and during a vote to forgo the first reading, Roberts voted no, which rolled the recreation ordinance over to the next council meeting.

“The main reason I’m against the ordinance is that it limits the access of the people to the parks and recreation. I’m not talking about the nighttime people with alcohol and drugs or that sort of thing. I’m talking about a Sunday afternoon; a dad hitting the ball with his son on those fields,” Roberts said.

Roberts said he would hate to limit access of the citizens to the baseball and softball fields unnecessarily.

The ordinance states that any other use, except for the city’s youth leagues, must be approved in advance by the city’s PARD director and such use may be subject to fees and restrictions.

The council voted unanimously to pass a delivery license ordinance, which would apply to businesses that have no physical presence in the city but make their products available there; work uniforms, soft drinks and floral arrangements would be examples of such products, said city clerk Shane Smith. The city will charge $100 for a delivery license if the business has gross receipts over $10,000 per year and the business has no other physical presence within the municipality.

The city adopted the ordinance because in August the Alabama legislature reformed the overall delivery license law — before that change, a business had to purchase a business license even if it conducted a penny’s worth of business in a municipality, according to the Alabama Retail website.

The council also voted unanimously to increase the business license issuance fee from $7 to $10. According to Smith, neighboring cities the same size as Heflin charge $12 for a business license issuance fee.

The council also voted unanimously to rezone the Cahulga Creek Apartments, formerly Woodland View Apartments, from general business to multi-family residential.

Smith reminded the council that next week city offices will be closed for the Thanksgiving holidays on Thursday and Friday. Smith said the city’s Christmas tree lighting will be Tuesday at 6 p.m. on Ross Street.