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Boaz City Council members donated more than $7,500 to the 2nd Chance Shelter during a meeting Monday night. In front are Parks and Rec Director Sonja Hard, Wanda and Doug McGee, owners of the shelter, and Nicole Presley, Parks and Rec secretary. In back are councilmen Johnny Willis, Mike Matthews, Josh Greer, Jeff Sims and Mayor David Dyar.

Boaz may soon see a new townhouse community after city council members approved a zoning request during a meeting Monday night. 

Councilmen suspended the rules to adopt an ordinance amending the zoning ordinance making a parcel at the southeast intersection of Billy Dyar Boulevard and Oak Street R-3 (high density single family residential district) from B-2 (community commercial district).

Wes Long and Rohogo Management Group has plans to erect up to 10 townhomes on the land in the first phase of development. An additional eight homes may be constructed in a second phase, said Boaz Building Inspector Nick Borden.

Mayor David Dyar said the move is a form of economic development for the city. 

“Real, true economic development doesn’t have to be strictly retail,” Dyar said. “Economic development can be rooftops. People will buy the homes, pay taxes to the city, hook up their utilities and shop at our local stores and businesses, bringing more money into the city.”

Borden said rezoning was the first step in a lengthy process of bringing the townhouse community to fruition. 

Rohogo’s plans must now go before the city planning commission for approval. 

“Right now, the proposed plans do not meet all our requirements as far as property line setbacks,” Borden said. “They are going to have to ask for some variances or will have to tweak their design plans.”

Rohogo will be required to install curbs and gutters along the street and sidewalks within the development, Borden said.

Councilman Jeff Sims said the proposed development could be the first of many in the neighborhood.

“When you build a community like this, you bring people to town,” Sims said. “You improve the area and raise the property values.”

Dyar called the development a “spark that could fire up development in the area.”

In other business, councilmen also:

• Presented Doug and Wanda McGee with a $7,600 donation to the 2nd Chance Animal Shelter. The funds were raised through the city’s annual Skinny Turkey Run.

“Every year … and this is our 14th year … we are asked to do more and more,” Doug McGee said. “Donations like this drive us forward. The support we get from the city is incredible. 

“My goal is to make our shelter a destination for those who want to see what a really good and great no-kill shelter really is.”

• Proclaimed January Human Trafficking Awareness Month. 

• Approved solicitation of bids for railroad materials to rehab railroad crossings within the city. Dyar said plans are in the works to replace 16 railroad crossings within the city with rubberized crossings.

Bids had been solicited a few months ago, but rail officials realized the bids were for the wrong size material forcing the city to reject the bids and begin the process again.

• Approved payment of $529,635 in accounts payable vouchers. All vouchers are on display at city hall for public inspection. 

• Learned all departments, aside from police and fire, will be closed Monday, Jan. 17, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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