New projects, businesses support local economy

Published 4:06 pm Wednesday, August 8, 2012

When Fred Crawford became Chilton County’s industrial development coordinator six weeks ago, he said he wanted to help local industry survive the economic slump and thrive in the years after.

Crawford is now involved with new projects and businesses all over the county, from the Chilton County Airport to Gypsy Sally’s restaurant in downtown Clanton.

Over the next two years, Crawford said, the airport authority will use a $25,000 advance from the city of Clanton to replace a deteriorating drainage pipe under the runway and fill in an open ditch stretching from the edge of the runway to Airport Road.

Crawford said the airport is critical for businesses that are not locally owned in transporting corporate officers to and from the county.

“The airport is one of the economic forces that drives Chilton County,” Crawford said. “With the industry we now have in Chilton County, the need for air transportation is necessary for us to attract more good jobs.”

According to Crawford, the automobile industry is another crucial component for the county, especially with the expansion of Honda, Hyundai, Toyota and Mercedes in Alabama.

Crawford said local companies that deliver parts to the plants provide numerous jobs to area residents.

“We are proud of our automobile-related industries and hope that they continue to expand to meet the needs of the plants in Alabama,” Crawford said.