|Welcome to The City of Dora
The City of Dora is an old city with new ideas. The town has a lot to offer business, industry and residents. Dora has access to Corridor X which is the main Interstate between Birmingham, Alabama and Memphis, Tennessee making it ideal for light industry, trucking, and retail. Low taxes, a friendly government and room to expand makes ideal for business. Residents will love Horse Creek Golf, which is a first-class golf course owned and managed by the City of Dora. The first Horse Creek Jubilee Festival is planned for the spring of 2014, and will offer arts, crafts, music, and fun for the entire family. The history of Dora is interesting.
The coal that was mined from the hills and hollows around Dora, helped build America during the 1800 and 1900s.
Mayor Randy Stephens talks about the new Dollar General coming to the city
We are very excited to have a new retail outlet in Dora. We’ve been working to get this store built for about a year.
Dollar General Corporate contacted the mayor via a third party to see if the city was right for the chain.
“We negotiated back and forth for several months to get where we are today.” One of the hardest things according to the mayor is that he was sworn to secrecy. “Had I shared the news with anyone, it could have potentially been a deal breaker,” he said.
The land where the chain wanted to locate was owned by Bobby Busby and his son Robert.
Stephens said the city clerk Marcy Brown had experience dealing with the third party because she dealt with the same group in her old job as a clerk in
It’s a great location which is across the road from the Alabama Mining Museum which is where the old Dora High School was once located.
The mayor is glad to see businesses moving back toward the center of town. “As we extend our boundaries toward I-22, this will be the geographic center of the city,” he said.
He anticipates more businesses coming into this area in the future.
There are many people in the surrounding communities that can’t always get the bigger stores on the highway, due to their age and health issues. “Having a store like this is their own neighborhood will be a great convenience to them,” Stephens said.
If construction continues at the current pace, Dollar General expects to open for business on August 24, 2014.
In other city news, Mayor Stephens said the city took ownership of the T.S. Boyd campus when the Walker County Board of Education decided to close that facility. “We were sadden to learn the school would be closing.”
But rather than let the school fall into disrepair and be vandalized, they approached the board about giving the school to the city.
“We see it as a great location to hold community events. The gym has a stage and can be used not only for community sports programs, but also beauty pageants, music concerts, art exhibits, and plays,” he said.
Other ideas for uses that were generated was to use classrooms as training rooms, seminars, small business incubators, and other functions.
The board of education was generous in giving this property to the city, so that the city can give back to the community.
Former school named to state historic register
by Rachel Davis
The Wyatt School, owned by the Alabama Mining Museum, has been listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. Daily Mountain Eagle - Rachel Davis The Wyatt School, owned by the Alabama Mining Museum, has been listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Daily Mountain Eagle - Rachel Davis
DORA — The Wyatt School, located at the Alabama Mining Museum, has been declared a historic landmark by the Alabama Historical Commission and will be listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. The school, according to the Commission, is part of a series of school houses called the Rosenwald School Buildings.
These schools were built from 1912 to 1932 to educate black children, particularly those in poor, rural areas. The program was begun and maintained through money donated by Julius Rosenwald, the president of the Sears, Roebuck and Company. He, along with Booker T. Washington, oversaw the program through Tuskegee Institute. Rosenwald stipulated that each community had to match his donations in order to build a school.
The program was responsible for the construction of 5,300 schools in rural black communities during its 20 year existence. These schools spanned 15 southern states, with 389 sites in Alabama alone. Wyatt School, according to the history the Mining Museum compiled, was built in Burnwell by a “wealthy white man,” as the first school to provide education to black children in that area.
The lumber supposedly came from the home of Jack Boyd, father of Terrell S. Boyd, namesake of the area’s recently-closed elementary school. The building has been used for several other purposes since it was a school, including a dance hall, according to Alabama Mining Museum President Richard Lovelady. The Mining Museum purchased the building and moved it across the street from their museum in 1990.
Although many of the Rosenwald school buildings still exist, this is the first one in Walker County to be registered with the Alabama Historical Commission and only the sixth in the state, according to Jennifer Bailey, with the Commission. This is part of a push from the Cahaba Trace Commission to identify the remaining structures and attempt to get them added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Bailey said that despite the fact that the school was not in its original location, its near-pristine condition encouraged the commission to add the Wyatt School to the state register. A listing on the state register is an honorary designation and does not provide any benefits or restrictions for property honors.
The Alabama Mining Museum, located at 120 East Street, just off Sharon Boulevard, is open from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday through Friday and by appointment during afternoons and Saturdays.
No admission is charged, but donations are welcomed.
The phone number is (205) 648-2442 to set up an appointment.
Read more: Daily Mountain Eagle - Former school named to state historic register
Horse Creek Jubilee a success
City buying new laptops, printers for police department
By RACHEL DAVIS
Daily Mountain Eagle
— The Dora City Council agreed to purchase six new laptops and printers for the city’s police department to replace the older computers that were acquired through government surplus or officers who are using their personal computers.
The new computers and printers will cost just under $5,000.
The council also voted to cancel an agreement with a company to input ticket information into the system. In return, the company received $20 for each ticket. Over the last three years, the city has paid more than $22,000 for this service. It will be replaced with software that will allow officers to input the information direction.
The new software will cost $6,000.
The council also approved the purchase of a new computer for the city’s magistrate for approximately $800.
The funds for the purchases will come from the corrections fund, which can only be spent on court or police purchases.
The council also voted to send Police Chief John Duchock to classes to become certified to teach driving school. The cost for the training and to set up a driving school program will be approximately $700.
This will give drivers in the city who get a traffic ticket and have not been habitual offenders to take the classes for a fee instead of having the ticket go on their record and impact their health insurance.
The city would also be able to offer the program to other cities for the same fee.
Mayor Randy Stephens said he thought this would be a great asset to the city, especially for young drivers who could be taught better habits and prevent an increase in the parents’ insurance rates. Council member Hezikiah Walker abstained from the vote.
In other business, the council:
•agreed to cut grass in the median and alongside old Highway 78 inside the city limits. This is an annual resolution with the Alabama Department of Transportation.
•agreed to take bids for repairs to the roof of the Armory currently used by the city’s street department.
•approved the purchase of red rock for the park’s baseball fields, as well as the purchase of various miscellaneous supplies for the baseball program.
•heard from Fire Chief Chris Edwards about the fire department’s fundraiser for Toys for Tots. The department is selling solar house number signs to raise money for the program.
Council approves police requests
By RACHEL DAVIS
Daily Mountain Eagle, January 16, 2014
DORA – The Dora City Council approved several requests from the city’s police department at its meeting Tuesday night.
Police Chief John Duchock asked for materials to build a dog kennel into the back seat of one of the police cars to house the city’s narcotics detection dog. Bevill State Community College agreed to fabricate the kennel if the city purchased the materials.
The council also agreed to purchase two police cameras that would record anything the officer sees, rather than a camera in the car that would only record from a fixed position.
“Looking at the headset cameras, wherever you’re looking is where they record,” Duchock explained. “You can turn it on prior to stopping the car, to see if they are driving erratically or whatever, and then when you get out, you’ll also be able to see inside the car. Also if it’s a domestic call, you’d be able to go inside the house with it where a car wouldn’t be able to, so it’s multi-function.”
Duchock had asked for four cameras, but council members suggested purchasing two cameras as a test and if they work out, purchasing two more.
The council also approved sending James Luna, a reserve officer for the city, to go to auxiliary police officer school in Jefferson County. Luna will be paying for the classes himself but needed a city to sponsor him.
All police purchases come from the court fund.
In other business:
- The council had a first reading of a proposed ordinance to set the speed limit on Reid Road at 25 miles per hour. The council is expected to vote on the ordinance at the next meeting.
- The council approved the city clerk to go to professional development classes in February.
- The council approved getting the city’s street department’s large tractor repaired. The tractor has two hydraulic cylinders that lift the large arm to cut brush that need to be repaired or replaced.
- The council also agreed to allow Walker Diagnostics to break their existing lease with the city-owned clinic building. The current occupant is beginning a new business and would like to pick up the lease.
- The council was presented with the 2012 audit for the first time. No action was taken. Mayor Randy Stephens said the auditor was very complimentary of the city’s finances included in the audit.
- The city council agreed to surplus the old garbage truck. The city purchased a new garbage truck last year.
- The council approved a new pest control bond with Blanton Exterminating.
|The Old Dora Jail
by Rick Watson
Here is a photo of the old jail house. This structure has been saved and someone is living in it today. I stopped by on my recent trip through town and shot this photo. I also have a old photo from back in the 50's. I had a funny story about this old building. Back when I was about six or seven years old, I used to sit in my daddy's lap and drive. I loved to drive...even today driving is a pleasure. My daddy was friends with the Policeman in Dora at that time. His name was Officer Robinson. It was Joel Robinson's daddy and I think his name was Joel too. Anyhow, daddy had told Officer Robinson that I would be driving later that afternoon down the old Sloss road.
As I was driving,
I heard a siren and looked behind me and I was being "chased"
by the police. It was a big black 1956 Ford Fairlane with a red bubble
gum machine on top. We pulled over and he asked me for my license. My
eyes must have been as big as saucers. I told him I didn't have a drivers
license. He said I had to go to jail. I was scared stiff. Daddy followed
Officer Robinson to the old jail and it was then that I completely lost
it and daddy and Officer Robinson called off the prank. I had forgotten
that story for a while until I drove by the jail.
I think it would be really good if we all wrote a collective book called
"The Things I Remember." We could collect them all and publish
them with old photographs and sell the gift books at local businesses
to help raise money for the Old Dora Restoration Fund.
If you have stories and/or photographs you'd like to share, please send
them to me and we'll publish them while we're collecting for the book.
Just another one of those crazy ideas.
Sponsors of the City of Dora Website
TO IMPROVE THE PHYSICAL, SOCIAL, AND ECONOMIC STATUS OF THE CITIZENS OF THE CITY OF DORA BY INVOLVING THE PUBLIC IN THE GOVERNMENTAL PROCESS, BY PROVIDING ACCURATE INFORMATION AND SERVICES IN A PROFESSIONAL, TIMELY MANNER AND BY MAKING INFORMED DECISIONS THAT WILL IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ALL OUR CITIZENS.