FOLEY – Just before Veterans Day, two projects to transfer military property to the city of Foley are complete after more than a year of effort.
The Foley City Council voted Monday, Nov. 6, to approve a transfer agreement with the Alabama Armory Commission. The agreement gives the city the former site of the Foley National Guard armory, located behind City Hall.
The Foley National Guard unit was stationed at the building, located behind City Hall, for more than 50 years. In early 2023, the National Guard moved to a new armory that was built on 30 acres of property provided by the city. In exchange for the 30-acre parcel, the city received the former armory site.
The city is developing plans to convert the building into municipal offices and other uses. Building plans include renovating the restrooms to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as adding office space for city employees, classroom space, a lobby and front desk area, a special needs multipurpose room and restroom, offices for the Foley Human Resources Department and other purposes.
The city also acquired two cannons that had been in place in front of the armory since the 1970s. The two 76-mm anti-tank guns were manufactured during the Korean Conflict. The T124 artillery pieces were the last model of truck-towed anti-tank guns produced for the U.S. Army.
The guns were recently repainted and moved to Max Griffin Park where the cannons will be part of he city Veterans Memorial.
While the guns had been in place in Foley, and before that at a National Guard armory in Atmore, the pieces remained the property of the Army.
Mayor Ralph Hellmich praised Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Lee and other city employees for their months of effort to complete the transfer of the property to Foley.
“Jeff Lee has been working with the Army and it’s rather bureaucratic for about a year and a half, but he stayed on it, communicating with them, filling out form after form after form,” Hellmich said.