JeffCo Commission votes to give property to humane society

JeffCo Commission votes to give property to humane society

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - The Greater Birmingham Humane Society is looking for a state of the art facility for its new home.

Jefferson County and the city of Birmingham jointly own 27 acres off of Sixth Avenue South next to Memorial Park.

The Greater Birmingham Humane Society wants to put a new adoption center, medical facility, and a dog park on the property.

"It will take property that has been dormant and vacated for almost twenty years and transform it into development the community can be proud of and use at the same time teach humane treatment of animals and people," said Allison Black Cornelius, President and CEO of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.

But John Harris, president of the North Titusville Neighborhood Association, a predominantly African American community, asked the Jefferson County Commission to reject the plan.

"We do not want that. We are trying to build our neighborhood. We are trying to get people to come back and visit our neighborhood. That is not going to happen with 20,000 dogs up there," said Harris.

African American Commissioners Sandra Little Brown and George Bowman voted against the transfer of property because of community opposition. The three white republicans - Jimmie Stephens, David Carrington and Joe Knight - OK'd the plan.

"It's been underutilized. It's an eyesore and I think the Humane Society will do a first class job," said Carrington said.

Birmingham will still have to approve the project. "We will take a look at all of the issues they will be faced with. From what I can tell, it will be an outstanding program," said Birmingham Mayor William Bell.

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