Scottsboro City Council member Greg Mashburn said on Monday, during a council meeting, he didn’t vote against a restaurant coming to the city last October.
“When I got appointed in 2018, my goal was to represent the citizens of Scottsboro,” said Mashburn. “I made a promise to myself that would always ask questions that I thought needed to be asked and answered.”
Mashburn referred to a February 2019 work session involving a highway safety improvement project for the intersection at County Park and Highway 72.
“I and two other council members had questions in regard to safety in accessing and exiting Taco Bell and several other businesses in the area,” said Mashburn. “When it came to a vote, those questions had not been addressed, so it was voted down.”
Mashburn said following the vote, it was circulated that the three council members voting against it, including himself, Patrick Stewart and Gary Stewart, had voted down a chicken franchise.
“That was simply untrue,” said Mashburn.
A little later, the city council voted for the project, which involved a contract with Volkert Engineering to do the engineering work. The city was awarded a $1.1 million grant in November 2018 for highway safety improvements at the intersection. The grant is 90% funded through the Alabama Department of Transportation.
Mashburn said a short time later the council met with a developer about a potential restaurant. Mashburn said the developer, Hutton, a development group out of Chattanooga, Tennessee, wanted a $400,000 tax break and a red light totaling $350,000. He said he had concerns.
The city council approved the sales tax agreement, $400,000 over five years, with Mashburn casting the lone dissenting vote.
“The night it was voted on I had a study showing the correct spacing for the red light to be 1,200 feet at Byron Road,” said Mashburn. “So when the vote came up, I voted ‘no’ because of spacing. And we had no clear path to pay for the light.”
He said, after the vote, he met with Mayor Robin Shelton, council member Mike Ashburn and traffic engineers, who he said assured him that the red light would work.
“When I voted ‘no’ it was strictly based on not having the facts in front of me,” said Mashburn. “I would never vote against a restaurant or small business coming to our city, nor would any other council member.”
Mashburn said the reason he chose to address it Monday was because he had been asked in the past week why council members were against restaurants coming into town.
“Again, that is simply untrue,” he said.