City council unanimously votes to shut down local Phenix City mechanic shop

Published: May. 4, 2022 at 6:30 PM EDT
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PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - A business is being forced to close after a vote by the city council in Phenix City.

They said the Alabama Department of Environmental Management is also investigating this site.

Two weeks ago, we reported on this business and the possibility of it being shut down by the city of Phenix City.

Now, it’s official.

With a unanimous decision, Interstate National, a mechanic shop off Highway 431, will now be forced to stop operating in the city.

The issues were spilled oil and waste on the facility’s grounds, old vehicles and the city also said people had been living in trailers around the business.

The owner, Kenneth Anderson, defended himself against the city at a hearing Tuesday saying the business has been working to clean up.

Mayor Eddie Lowe responded by saying this problem has been years in the making.

“I heard you said within the last 30 days that you all had made some headways, but this should’ve started back in 2018,” said Lowe.

The mayor also added that the bottom line of the issue is safety for people in the area.

Anderson says he has struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic. And the costs of what the city is imposing on him are too much to bear.

“This takes money. I have went through every dollar I have to keep this company alive during COVID,” said Anderson.

Anderson hasn’t renewed his business license for this year, and now after the council vote won’t be allowed to do so, effectively forcing the closure.

“After all this I worked through to stay here, y’all just gonna shut me down this easily? It doesn’t make sense to me,” said Anderson.

Councilman Steve Bailey, a business owner himself, sympathized with him over pandemic difficulties but ultimately delivered a tough message about the process.

“At some point in time, you and I have to step up to the plate at our business and start doing our business the way business should be done. That’s where you fell short,” said Bailey.

Anderson has the option to get the facility back into compliance with the city code and then can apply to have his license reinstated.