Alma City Council met Feb. 3 for a study session for ordinances on gun laws in certain areas of the city limits and possession of U.S. 64-B.
The council is expected to vote on the new gun ordinance at its next regular meeting, Feb. 20.
Tommy McClain presented the council at the study session with a map of the city with properties highlighted in different colors which show properties with more than 1 acre and properties with more than 5 acres. The current ordinance says that a firearm cannot be fired within city limits. The new ordinance is similar, but with the addition of being able to fire a gun on property larger than 1 acre. McClain brought to the attention of the council that there is a substantial amount of land around the Alma Primary School that is larger than 1 acre.
John Ware said he can’t agree with the new ordinance, although he is a gun supporter.
“I wouldn’t want that across the street from me, I don’t want that in my neighborhood, behind my neighborhood. It’s just not what we need to do in the city,” Ware said.
The ordinance caused a lot of brainstorming of how it could possibly be edited to make the use of guns safer under the new proposed rule.
Highway 64
The state has contacted the City of Alma about placing a bridge on U.S. 64-B with sidewalks on either side as long as the city takes over the possession of the section after construction. Alma Mayor Jerry Martin laid out the pros and cons of the possession.
“If we take possession of the road we have a say-so of the right of way. So, if we need to do work to drainage or if we need to clear something, we don’t have to ask permission,” Martin said.
If the city decides to not take possession of the road then sidewalks will not be put in, the council agreed.
A big point regarding the bridge was drainage. Near the future sights of the dog park and Christello Park are problems with water building up after it rains. The city leaders say they cannot do anything about it. Ware received a letter that estimated that the cost of the drainage project would be upwards of $8 million.
“There’s not enough traffic over there to justify the cost,” said Ware, explaining he believes the amount of money is high and that it doesn’t seem like a great trade considering the future upkeep.
Mark Yardley mentioned the alternative of adding a pedestrian bridge in the future, but he believes that there needs to be a pedestrian crossing in the area. Without a pedestrian crossing, there will be a lost connection between the two parks in the city, he said. Adding a pedestrian crossing will make for a more straightforward trip.
It was also mentioned that the city has received the go-ahead on Christello Park and the project is now moving forward.