City of Arab is looking for ideas for donated 20 acres of land

ARAB, Ala. -- The City of Arab wants to hear from the people who live there about what to do with 20 acres of donated land. One idea for part of it is aimed to help major traffic issues near Arab Primary School.

A former resident donated the stretch of property to the city a few weeks ago. The property is just off of Main Street, right along 12th Avenue. "It had two stipulations on it: number one, that the city would not sell the land and number two it would be used for public benefit," Mayor Bob Joslin said.

Cue social media. The city asked people who live in Arab to chime in their thoughts and ideas for the property. "What would you like to see us use that land for? To give us some ideas and we're getting several responses to that," Joslin said.

One of the ideas for the property is aimed to fix a years-old traffic problem at Arab Primary School. "We see significant traffic congestion in the neighborhood around the Primary School, especially in the afternoons," Assistant Police Chief Shane Washburn said, "We have to go out there just about every day to make sure people aren't there early, because like I said, once they get there early it backs everything up onto Main Street and just causes a lot of trouble right there during school zones."

Joslin said the idea for part of the property is to put a back entrance to the school to alleviate some of that traffic congestion. "Possibly an input from 12th Avenue across that 20 acres to come in on the north side of the Primary School might be a good use of some of that property, and it wouldn't destroy the rest of it because it's right against the eastern boundary," Joslin said. He added they're in the planning stages right now, and they don't want to do anything that's going to devalue the property in the area, but they need a solution to the traffic issues around the school.

As for the rest of the property, the city is looking for residents to chime in with realistic ideas, keeping in mind the city is a non-profit municipality.