Anniston council votes down proposed change in operating hours over COVID-19 concerns

Anniston council votes down proposed change in operating hours over COVID-19 concerns
Anniston multi-modal center (Source: wbrc)

ANNISTON, Ala. (WBRC) - The Anniston City Council rejected a motion to change the hours of the city’s multi-modal center, a historic train station now used as a stop for Amtrak, Greyhound and the area’s transit system.

Like all other city buildings, its hours were temporarily changed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Council member Ben Little wanted to change the hours, saying Greyhound passengers didn’t have access to public restrooms while waiting for their bus.

He says the restrooms are inside and the doors are locked after hours, which currently includes being closed all day on Sundays.

Little says some of the riders have urinated in the area where the train picks up passengers, and says the Greyhound passengers often wait in inclement weather.

“So these poor people should not be ostracized, in the way that we’re doing them right now, and that’s why I’m asking the council to let us open the station back up, let people come in, and move around, and ask them to please maintain a distance,” Little said in the meeting.

The meeting was held by teleconference, carried live on the city's Facebook page.

City manager Stephen Folks says there is usually someone at the station to unlock the doors if someone needs to use a restroom, and they can be contacted by a doorbell next to the front doors.

Councilor Millie Harris says the council already approved a resolution allowing the mayor and city manager to make these decisions during the COVID-19 emergency.

The motion failed two to three, with Councilors Little and David Reddick voting in favor and councilors Harris and Jenkins and Mayor Jack Draper voted against it.

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