Residents oppose Bessemer annexation

By Ashley Nix

BESSEMER, AL (WBRC) - A plan to to annex 350 acres of land into Bessemer ran into opposition Thursday.  

Opponents packed the Bessemer City Council meeting Thursday to voice their opposition to a developer who wants to bring light industry onto the site. Many people in nearby McCalla are against the plan, saying the developer, David Keith, has not been specific about what he wants to do with the site.

"Plan a development that creates jobs for the city of Bessemer," Keith said.  

But McCalla residents are saying not so fast.  They say they're already having to endure a massive, multi-million dollar train hub in their backyard.  Citizen Wade Cox says he doesn't want anymore industry in his backyard.  

"If the people in McCalla have to live with it, see it, hear it, smell it, then we should be the ones to decide whether we want it or not," Cox said.

Bessemer City Councilor Jimmie Stephens says he's not in favor of the development and doesn't think it's good for Bessemer or McCalla.  

County Commissioner Bobby Humphreyes says Keith first came to the county about the project, and was told no.  

"I don't think it's the best use for the property down there and we hope we can, the councilmen here in Bessemer see that and turn down his request."

Cox, along with dozens of other McCalla, residents are trying to incorporate their community, he says, for that exact reason.  

"If we don't do that then were gonna be stuck at these types of things, battling uphill battles with city's like Bessemer and grab up McCalla property and do what they want with it."

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