Lease agreements on table in Florala

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Florala City Council on Monday night discussed but did not finalize plans to fill several vacant structures.

The council met without councilwomen Hazel Lee and Deborah Inabinnett, both of whom were absent due to health-related issues; however, Mayor Robert Williamson said the remaining members were sufficient to constitute a quorum.

Williamson brought before the council several proposed plans to fill the empty buildings, including the possibility of leasing a structure on Main St. for $100 less per month than its last resident paid. Williamson said he has received interest form a party wishing to open a pawn shop/awning business in the location, on the condition the building could be leased for $300 per month for two years. The most recent tenant, Williamson said, paid $400 per month. The council voted unanimously to approve that number, which Williamson said he would present to the potential lessee.

Williamson also presented the council with possible plans for an ammo storage and manufacturing operation for a currently empty building on Gilmer Avenue. The council agreed to determine whether or not the operation would pose too great a liability to the city before moving forward.

Finally, Williamson relayed what he admitted to be “vague information,” about interest in the building that once housed Florala Middle School. Williamson said he received interest from a part wishing to lease the entire campus for what he called “vocational education” purposes, but said he could not go into more detail at the time. The council agreed to Williamson engaging in further negotiations on the topic, which included a possible cut in rental payments for upgrades and other construction work the party would do to the structure and property.