Ruffner Mountain property changes

Ruffner Mountain property changes


JAMES MCCONATHA. CBS 42 NEWS. NEW AT 6 – PEOPLE WHO USE A POPULAR NATURE TRAIL AT RUFFNER MOUNTAIN ARE CONCERNED THAT ACCESS COULD BE BLOCKED OFF. AND THERE ARE SOME ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS OVER THE NEW OWNER’S PLANS FOR THAT AREA. CBS 42 NEWS REPORTER MATT FERNANDEZ JOINS US LIVE ON DECK TO EXPLAIN…MATT? THE TRAIL HEAD ENTRANCE IS LOCATED OFF RUFFNER ROAD ACROSS THE RUFFNER PARK BASEBALL FIELD IT’S USED BY MANY– BUT A RUFFNER MOUNTAIN SPOKESPERSON TELLS ME THE NEW OWNER HAS PLANS TO FENCE IN THE AREA. THE 6.5 PROPERTY OFF THE RUFFNER ROAD THAT INCLUDES THE TRAIL HEAD ENTRANCE USED TO BELONG TO WALTER ENERGY WHICH A LOT OF PEOPLE LIKE TO USE INCLUDING PETER EGLI . “I use it 2-3 times a week.” BUT IT WAS SOLD TO J&S INTERNATIONAL, A STONE MANUFACTURING COMPANY FOR 60-THOUSAND DOLLARS. RUFFNER MOUNTAIN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CARLEE SANFORD SAYS BEING A NON-PROFIT THEY DIDN’T HAVE THE MONEY AT THE TIME TO BUY THE LAND AND SAYS THE NEW COMPANY NOW PLANS TO FENCE OFF THE ENTRANCE IN PREPARATION FOR SITE PLANS FOR THE BUSINESS. I TALKED WITH OWNER OFJ&S STEVE VAN WINKLE OFF CAMERA. HE PLANS TO USE TO ENTRANCE AS A ROAD TO HIS 9-THOUSAND SQUARE FACILITY WHICH WILL BE NEARBY.”I would deeply regret that I would have to drive all around the mountain.” THE ENTRANCE MAKES IT’S A SHORT WALK ON THE TRAIL TO SCENIC VIEWS. PEOPLE ARE ALSO NOW CONCERNED ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES THE DEVELOPMENT IN THE AREA. “if you hike up the fire files in late May it’s incredible, you have light population and industry happening its impacts the whole experience behind the access point.” Ruffner Mountain with the help of City of Irondale commercial development Authority was willing to offer J&S 100- thousand dollars for the 6.5 acres of land. VAN WINKLE SAID HE MADE SEVERAL OFFERS TO THE PARK AND CICDA. THE OPTIONS INCLUDE SHARING THE ENTRANCE IF THE PARK TOOK LIABILITY OF THE ENTRANCE, 750-THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR ALL 6.5 ACRES, OR 80-THOSUAND FOR 1 ACRES INLCUDING THAT’S INCLUDES THE ENTRANCE. SANFORD SAYS THAT WAS FISCALLY AND ECOLOGICALLY IRRESPONSIBLE. THE OWNER IS WORKING THE CONTRACTOR TO GET THE FENCE UP SOON. TONIGHT A MEETING WAS HELD AT NATURE CENTER TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PLANS. WE WILL HEAR WHAT SOME PEOPLE HAD TO SAY TONIGHT AT TEN…LIVE IN BIRMINGHAM MATT FERNANDEZ CBS

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