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City could get its own PC Beach

Chris Norwood

Pell City has been undergoing a dramatic growth spurt recently, in terms of size, population and commercial development. It seems the one thing the city currently lacks is a white-sand beach. But perhaps not for long.

According to a Web site set up by Armond Simmons, "Pell City/Logan Martin Lake could become the home of the largest white sand beach in Alabama north of Gulf Shores. A more beautiful setting for Pell City Beach could not possibly be found than that situated on the massive shoreline at the 'point' behind our civic center and adjacent to Lakeside Park."

The Web site goes into some detail concerning Simmon's version of what the beach should be, including several superimposed photographs of what a white sand beach in Pell City might look like. There is also an area for Pell Citians to express their opinions on the idea, positive or negative.

According to the site, "ideally, length should extend well around both sides of the east-west running land point to a point 50 feet northward on each side. The width (depth) of the beach should be at least 200 feet at and near the point, 100 feet elsewhere. Landscaping ... would involve removing 371 cubic yards of shoreline dirt and grading to a gradual slope. Prevailing wind in this area is landward, which would allow wave action to redeposit sand and maintain the beach in place." White sand from local quarries would be placed one foot deep on land and well into the water. Shade cabanas, additional parking, bathhouses and a concession stand would be added later.

Simmons could not be reached for comment Thursday night, but City Councilman Guin Robinson, the council's liaison to the Parks and Recreation Department, confirmed that Simmons had approached the council with the idea, and the council would be considering the project for the next budget year. "We have to take into account things like liability, cost, feasibility, things like that, but the idea definitely has merit. Next year we’ll be discussing it some more, and if things work out, we'll just need to do some grade work and bring in some sand. He actually made a presentation on this last year, but with everything the city's been doing this year we couldn't have gotten to it."

Mayor Mack Abercrombie said he also thought the beach idea was worth talking about, "but I think it should go in Lakeside Park, in the sloughs, to keep the kids further from the street and the parking lot. This would generate tremendous traffic, and we don't want any kids getting hurt.

"I've been talking with some people about getting the sand donated," Abercrombie added. "If the council approves this, when the water goes down, we'll get rid of the stumps and debris, put in the sand, and clean up the swimming area. The parents can sit in the pavilion and see the kids on the beach, and it will be close to the playground equipment for the younger kids as well."

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