After repeated attempts to reach Hoover officials for comment about an annexation legal battle with the City of Helena that resulted in a temporary restraining order last week, 1819 News has yet to receive a response.
On Tuesday, Helena Mayor Brian Puckett spoke to 1819 News and accused the City of Hoover of cherry-picking commercial properties for annexation in the Indian Ford Fire District, part of which is already considering annexation into Helena.
The Fire District is an unincorporated community in both Jefferson and Shelby Counties. Residents in the part of the district located in Jefferson County will vote on August 8 to decide whether or not their neighborhood will join Helena.
Helena and the Fire District’s board of directors have worked together since earlier this year. They managed to acquire 200 signatures from residents in favor of annexation into Helena.
But, according to Puckett, Hoover officials promised particular businesses in the area tax abatements in return for signing a petition to annex into Hoover instead.
On Friday, a Hoover official told the press that the city seeks to annex 200 acres of land in the Fire District. He said 20 individuals own the land and may have commercial value for the city.
Puckett said this interferes with Helena’s analysis to determine if the annexation of the Fire District is feasible because the resolution to be voted on is based on the district as a whole, including the commercial properties targeted by Hoover.
Helena sued Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato and the Hoover City Council last week for soliciting the petitions for annexation, accusing the city of illegally accepting petitions for annexation from properties already involved in the Helena annexation vote.
Circuit Court Judge David Hobdy granted the initial restraining order against Hoover on Monday morning. This kept Hoover from attempting to solicit votes for annexation in the Fire District until after the Helena annexation election. Late Monday, Hobdy amended the lawsuit to allow neither Hoover nor Helena to campaign landowners for annexation until they receive approval from a Jefferson County Court.
However, according to Puckett, Hobdy granted Helena another 10 business days to continue the election process in the Indian Ford Fire District after receiving proposed orders from both Hoover and Helena on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, 1819 News contacted both Hoover City Council president John Lyda and Brocato for comment. Neither responded.
On Wednesday, 1819 News reached out to Lyda and Brocato again and the City of Hoover’s attorney Phillip Corley, and still did not receive a response.
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