According to a story from the Walker County News, a temporary restraining order has stopped the Walker County Hospital District’s sale of the former Ella Smither Center to the City of Huntsville.
The city council voted 6-1 during their February 6th meeting to authorize the purchase of 6.34 acres located at 11th Street and Avenue O that is currently the former Ella Smither Center. The city plans to build a new police headquarters and offices along with a new fire station at the location. The council accepted the $2.25 million dollar counter-offer by the Walker County Hospital District for the property.
Recently heirs of Ella Smither’s claimed that roughly a one acre parcel within that 6.34-acre site belongs to them and that “The Hospital District has intentionally misappropriated the Plaintiffs’ Property for public use and without just compensation, which constitutes an inverse condemnation.”
Last Tuesday District Judge Hal Ridley signed a temporary restraining order enjoining the sale of the property. Local attorney Lanny Ray is the attorney for the plaintiffs, while Joe Henderson is representing the Walker County Hospital District. A hearing is scheduled later this month.