By Marla Jones
FORT PAYNE, Ala.-- (Full Video on Southern Torch Facebook) The Fort Payne City Council held a work session on Wednesday, April 19.
The meeting was held to address comments regarding the proposed truck ramp which will require the demolition of Foster’s Gym, along with several other homes.
The proposed truck ramp will use pea gravel to slow down a truck that has lost its brakes coming down the mountain before they try to make the 90-degree turn at what is commonly known as “Joe’s Truck Stop.”
In 2014, a mandatory brake check station was installed at the top of the mountain. Eventually, in years to come, the plan is to extend Wallace Avenue and remove Joe’s Truck Stop.
Marisa Foster, of Foster’s Gym, was on the agenda to speak about the proposed emergency truck ramp and the demolition of her facility.
Foster’s Gym is housed in the old Fort Payne Recreation Center, located at 650 Wallace Avenue NE. She signed a lease nearly seven years ago, with the City of Fort Payne, and has three years remaining on the said lease.
Foster told of twenty student-athletes who have trained in the gym and have gone on to play at the college level. The gym has over 150 members, several of who attribute the gym to their mental wellness and physical fitness.
Mayor Brian Baine praised the gym for their impact on the community.
“There is no question of the good you’ve done. I’ve seen it” stated Mayo Baine.
Foster inquired why ALDOT would construct an emergency truck ramp without mandating the brake check station at the top of the mountain. She also questioned why spend taxpayers’ money to demolish homes and businesses to only correct the problem in a few years.
“If this would save lives, myself and members of my gym, would dig the truck ramp out by hand” stated Foster. “There are so many unanswered questions.”
Mayor Brian Baine was asked to follow up with ALDOT after the initial comment period is over.
Foster, is urging citizens to submit comments regarding the proposed ramp to the Alabama Department of Transportation. North Region, ATTN: Logan Jolley, P O Box 55- Guntersville, Alabama 35976. Comments can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.