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Hartselle scraps police, fire jurisdiction plan

By Deangelo McDaniel
· · 340-2469

HARTSELLE — Saying it is best for Morgan County, Hartselle leaders have canceled their plan to establish a fire and police jurisdiction.

The announcement came fewer than 24 hours after Morgan County Commission Chairman John Glasscock said the county would hold a public hearing on the matter.

“Right now, we have many items we’re working on as a group,” Mayor Dwight Tankersley said, referring to the elected governments in Morgan County.

The main item is a new industrial park that county leaders are proposing to establish on Interstate 65 between Hartselle and Falkville.

“The negative impact this may have is not worth it,” Tankersley said about establishing the jurisdiction.

Glasscock said Hartselle’s jurisdiction proposal came up during Tuesday’s commission work session because every commissioner said he was getting complaints.

“We talked about holding a public hearing on the issue but decided not to set the date until our legislative leaders could be there,” Glasscock said.

The commission especially wanted Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, at the hearing because Hartselle had asked him to sponsor legislation lowering the distance requirement for police jurisdiction.

Because of its population, state law requires Hartselle’s jurisdiction to be at least three miles beyond its corporate limits.

Hartselle leaders wanted Orr to sponsor a bill lowering the distance to 11/2 miles.

Glasscock said he was not aware that Hartselle had canceled plans for the jurisdiction until The Daily told him Wednesday.

The commission was to vote March 13 on a date for the hearing, which Glasscock wanted to hold at Sparkman Civic Center in Hartselle.

Since Hartselle is not proceeding with its plans, Glasscock said, he sees no need for a public hearing.

Council President Kenny Thompson said Hartselle leaders cannot let their desire for the police jurisdiction ruin plans for the industrial park.

“We don’t want to do anything to put the location of the new industrial park in jeopardy,” he said.

Thompson said he never was totally sold on the idea of the jurisdiction because Hartselle lost money on it before.

“But, I was willing to vote for it if that’s what the majority of the council members wanted,” he said.

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