The dispute between the city of Crestview over the ownership of the alleyway east of the historic Alatex Building took a new twist Monday evening when the city council approved pursuing legal action against the daughter-in-law of the property's original owner.

CRESTVIEW — An ongoing dispute over ownership of an alley east of the historic Alatex Building, now home to the Florida A&M University Rural Diversity Healthcare Center, grew heated this evening when the City Council unanimously approved city attorney Jerry Miller’s request to pursue legal action against the daughter-in-law of the alley’s original owner.

Upon refurbishment into the FAMU center, which includes a school of pharmacy, new exits were created on the east side that open into the disputed alleyway. In addition, the university paved a walkway up the center of the alley and planted sod on either side of it.

A month after expressing hope for “an amiable settlement” with attorney Jill Crew, who represents Barbara Adams, at the Sept. 10 meeting of the Crestview City Council, Miller requested a special meeting of the council to present an Oct. 11 letter he received from Adams. In it she threatens to “close off the alley to all FAMU use” within seven days of her letter.

“The letter of Oct. 11 presents a serious threat that we have to take very seriously,” Miller said. “It is a threat to life safety and fire standards and very simply cannot be permitted to occur.”

Miller said he has asked Mayor David Cadle, who oversees Crestview’s public safety agencies, to have the alley monitored to prevent Adams or her representatives from carrying out her threat to block off the alley or resume truck deliveries to Main Street businesses that the alley serves. Adams' letter stated her action would be effective Thursday.

Adams' letter stated that neither she nor her attorney have heard from Miller since the Sept. 10 council meeting, stating, “I have to assume the city or the city attorney never intended to amicably resolve this matter with me.”

Miller said he has been working on researching the matter since he received council approval to enter into negotiations with Adams and Crew, but “I simply haven’t had anything to report yet.”