Public hearings to be held for 3 street closings

The Hamilton City Council looks over building plans of Hamilton First Baptist Church to expand its facility. The church has requested that the city close a portion of 3rd Avenue South, which runs adjacent to their building. Four city councilors are members at the church and it remains unclear what action the council can ethically take.

HAMILTON - The Hamilton City Council will host a public hearing during its Monday, Oct. 15, meeting to discuss the potential closure of three city streets.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and has been moved to the Hamilton Police Department building in the courtroom.
The streets include 1st Avenue Northeast between Highway 43 North and 1st Street Northeast; 3rd Avenue South between 1st Street Southwest and 2nd Street Southwest; and an unnamed alley running north off of Oak Ridge Drive between County Highway 42 and Old Ivie Trail.
Hamilton United Methodist Church has requested that the city close the sloping drive of 1st Avenue Northeast, which intersects to the church’s two buildings and playground area.
Hamilton First Baptist Church has requested that the council close the downtown street of 3rd Avenue South so the church can move forward on plans to expand its facilities.
Hamilton city attorney Scott Hunt is still looking into what action the council can make if the street closure involving Hamilton FBC comes to a vote.
Councilors Herb Winsett, Bobby Joe Irvin, Tami Lewis Williams and Gene Sanderson are members at Hamilton FBC.
In initial discussion, Hamilton Mayor Bob Page expects that the four council persons will have to abstain from the vote due to conflicting interests, leaving only himself and Kenneth Cochran to vote on the matter—which is not a majority vote.
The last street closure comes by the request of a landowner. During a work Session on Wednesday, Sept. 12,  Page said that the street is a deadend road  and was orignally used to access private land, but is no longer needed.

See complete story in the Journal Record.
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