New ward lines will change Anniston polling places
by Laura Camper
lcamper@annistonstar.com
Feb 28, 2012 | 2815 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If its board of directors agrees, the Anniston Country Club could replace the Mental Health Center as the new polling place for Ward 4 residents.

The Mental Health Center on Eighth Street became part of Ward 3 when the lines were changed, so the city had to find a replacement polling place for Ward 4, said Don Hoyt, Anniston’s city manager.

The issue has been brought up by several voters who noticed their polling place was becoming part of a new ward. The council passed the ward line changes at its Feb. 14 meeting and Hoyt started looking for a replacement polling place, he said.

The city has contacted former mayor Chip Howell, the general manager of the club, proposing the use of the country club as the new polling place and he will bring the matter to the board, Hoyt said.

“We have to wait until the final word until any real official notice is given,” Hoyt said.

Hoyt believes the country club may be a better location, because the parking is better.

“You don’t have to dodge that traffic crossing the street,” Hoyt said.

Visitors to the Mental Health Center have to park in the parking deck across the street from the building. The country club’s parking lot is adjacent to the building.

That would be the only polling place that would change with the new ward lines, Hoyt told the councilman. However, individual voters may find their polling places have changed because they are now part of a new ward.

“There’s a few people in Ward 1 who will vote in Ward 2 now,” Hoyt said. “And some people that were in Ward 1 will now vote in Ward 3 and some people in Ward 4 that will vote in Ward 3.”

The polling place came up during a discussion of the new precinct lines – the lines that divide the wards and determine the polling places of residents.

Hoyt did not have a map available of the new precincts. That will be available for the councilmen at their next meeting on March 27, he said. Since the precinct changes require a new law, it requires two public readings before a vote. This evening was the first reading. The councilmen didn’t comment on the proposal.

Councilmen voted unanimously to cancel their March 13 meeting because some members will be in Washington, D.C. for a League of Municipalities meeting.

In other business, the council:

Unanimously approved the installation of a fire hydrant near 11th and Grove streets. The cost of the installation will be included in the Department of Human Resources building project.

Unanimously approved an agreement to provide fire protection for the Fort McClellan Army National Guard Training Center, Pelham Range and the Ammunition Supply Point.

Unanimously approved an agreement with Gene Motes Auctioneers to auction off surplus vehicles at the Anniston Metropolitan Airport on March 17. The auction will include vehicles from other organizations as well as city property.

Unanimously approved vacating some roads at McClellan for the Army National Guard Training Center. The owners of the property along the roads were the city, the McClellan Development Authority and the Guard.

Approved 3-1 the appointment of Councilman Jay Jenkins as the council representative on the city’s Planning Commission. Councilman Ben Little voted against the appointment, saying he believed it was a conflict of interest. Jenkins abstained from the vote.

Unanimously approved the purchase of property at 831 W. 19th Street, from the state of Alabama for $100 for the Cooper Park Fire Station. The state has a tax lien on the property.

Contact staff writer Laura Camper at 256-235-3545.

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