Hoover city leaders crunching numbers on potential purchases

Hoover in discussions over purchasing Smith Family Compound in the Bluff Park Community

HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - Hoover city leaders are weighing financial options as they review two potential city purchases.

There’s been recent discussion about the city purchasing Smith Family Compound in the Bluff Park Community. The roughly 33 acres of green space make it an attractive purchase for the city.

“The things that could be done there are just boundless. The Bluff Park Art Show could move there and have a lot more space,” said Gene Smith, City Council Member. “It could be to the western part of Hoover what Veterans Park is to the eastern part of Hoover.”

“If it were to come into the city of Hoover, we would keep it pretty much in the present form. That’s the attractiveness of it,” said Mayor Frank Brocato.

Although the vision is grand - it comes down to dollars and cents.

“You always have to understand where it fits in the budget. That’s really one of the most important parts of the process. So before we leap out and pay any amount of money for it, we want to make sure we can afford it,” said Mayor Frank Brocato.

Mayor Brocato says interest in the compound peaked over the last 30 days after the city had already started work on the budget.

Councilor Smith says city leaders could review property appraisal numbers as early as Monday to determine if moving forward is feasible. There could also be discussion on how much of the property they’d like to purchase.

“If it would reduce the city’s overall costs - if we could get a better deal by buying all of the parcels. If not, we’ll go after the parcels we can identify are the best for city use,” said Smith.

The compound is divided into 8 parcels.

The city will have to crunch numbers and make a decision quickly. The property is set to go to auction October 30.

As city leaders work to come to a decision about the compound, Councilor Smith says they’re balancing the desires of the community. Smith says there has been discussion about a property in the Preserve community near Boulder Field. He says the property may go up for sale for residential use. If that happens, he says homeowners would overlook Boulder Field, which would detract from the recreational space.

Smith says potential costs for the property could be roughly a quarter of a million dollars.

He says purchasing both Smith Family Compound and the property near Boulder Field are ideal, but it’s iffy.

“We’re not sure we can do both. We’re going to be communicating with our finance staff and the mayor’s office and the council. Hopefully by the next council meeting - we may be in a position to know or we may have already acted. We just have to see,” said Smith. “We want to be able to take care of everybody as much as that’s possible.”

According to the city’s website, they have an upcoming city council meeting Monday, October 7, a work session October 17, and a final council meeting October 21 before the auction.

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