Signs of growth all around

Published 9:11 pm Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The issue of growth in Chilton County is such an important and broad topic that in discussing it, we risk sounding like a broken record. But the fact is, we are just starting to see signs of growth that will only escalate in the coming years.

If a way, flipping the switch to the lights surrounding Interstate 65 Exit 219 is symbolic of “flipping the switch” to a new era of retail and industrial development in North Chilton County.

On the south side, a new industrial park is on its way up near Exit 200 outside Verbena. And in the past five years, we have seen major changes at every exit. It’s inevitable that each of these interchanges will be starting points for new growth.

As the 2010 Census is taken, new population counts for every town, as well as Chilton County as a whole, will affect the way businesses and industries see us when looking to relocate. We have stressed before, and will stress again, the importance of participating in the census questionnaire.

Considering what lies ahead, it is vital that each business owner, landowner and resident in rural Chilton County and municipalities consider how changes could potentially affect them. This is doubly important for our leaders as one day they will find that their planning — or lack thereof — will be either the blessing or the curse that will determine our destiny.

Zoning plans are changing in our cities, and although “zoning” is a curse word to many, it is something to be considered. It is up to us to find a plan that works — a plan that doesn’t let outsiders ruin the kind of place we want Chilton County to be, yet one that doesn’t place too many burdens upon residents.

The upcoming wet/dry special election in Jemison is another example. The people’s decision will affect what kind of growth occurs.

There are plenty of ways you can let your voice be heard. Be sure to speak up.