Resident: Alley dispute doesn’t end with council decision

Published: Friday, June 28, 2013 at 03:20 PM.

CRESTVIEW — The City Council on Monday voted not to pursue a settlement for a downtown alley’s ownership. However, family members who claim the property say a nearly yearlong battle doesn’t end there.

The alley in dispute, behind Florida A&M University’s Pharmacy School, serves Main Street businesses in buildings once owned by the late Purl G. Adams. His daughter-in-law, Barbara, and his grandson, Purl Adams III, claim the alley is part of their property.

“I’m not gonna stop just at their decision,” Purl Adams III said, referring to the city council action. “I’m not saying we’re going to court. I’m saying that there’s other avenues to pursue.”

The city had proposed paying $55,000 to Barbara Adams to ensure the city’s access and official ownership of the alley. Council members changed course after reviewing a Nov. 18 1942 warranty deed during a five-minute recess. Purl G. Adams, his wife Edna and W.R. Taylor deeded the alley to the city for $10 and a promise that the property would remain a public alley. For council members, that was enough evidence to stop the settlement.

"I'm holding an official document on file with the city clerk's office ... it says this city owns that property," Council President Robyn Helt said during Monday’s meeting. 

"Based on what I am holding in my hand, I say fight it. If we lose, we lose,” Councilman Shannon Hayes said.

Councilman Thomas Gordon also voted down the settlement. Council members Mickey Rytman and Joe Blocker dissented.

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