The town of Gurley is taking a collective sigh of relief thanks to the Alabama Supreme Court's decision to toss out a $5 million dollar judgement against the town.
It was a unanimous 9-0 decision in response to Gurley's appeal. The town was facing bankruptcy after the Madison County Circuit Court's judgement of nearly six times the Madison County town's annual budget.
The lawsuit was brought against Gurley by M&N Materials. The company wanted to build a rock quarry in town limits. In February of 2011, a Madison County jury decided that Gurley had taken M&N's property by issuing regulations that prevented a quarry from being constructed.
In the appeal, Gurley's lawyers argued that regulatory takings are consistent with Alabama law. In other words, it is perfectly legal for government to regulate a property by exercising eminent domain power without actually stripping the property's owner of the title to the property.
The celebration will now be short lived, because the town is already voicing its opposition to another proposed quarry. This one, just outside of town limits on the West side of Gurley Mountain. On Tuesday night, the Gurley town council passed a resolution officially stating the town's opposition to the quarry in Madison County.