THE YEAR AHEAD: Jemison mayor anticipates new businesses to city

Published 5:31 pm Friday, January 11, 2013

As a former educator and lifetime resident of the city of Jemison, Mayor Eddie Reed remains thankful for the opportunity to serve during his third term as mayor as he looks ahead at goals for the city in 2013.

“I get a lot of joy and gratification out of being a public servant for the community I have grown up in,” Reed said. “I try to make changes to benefit the city and the citizens within that will help us to grow and attract more people to come live here.”

Some of the major upcoming goals Reed would like to see accomplished for Jemison include correcting the Waste Water Treatment Plant due to a non-funded mandate stating that all cities located along the Cahaba River Basin must meet Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines.

Reed said due to location, Jemison must come up with money to accomplish the project that will cost the city more than $300,000.

“Our city just happened to be one of the places that had to comply with this mandate so we are working on getting everything ready to accomplish that goal,” Reed said.

Another major project Reed would like to see is repairing County Road 42 that he described as a highly traveled road through the city that is in great need of repair.

“Having that road paved will be a great accomplishment,” Reed said.

Although there are no definite plans set in place as to when the road will be paved, Reed said he hoped it would be sometime in the spring.

Upgrading streets throughout the city as well as upgrading lighting in the city park and economic development are other goals Reed would like to see happen.

“Jemison is a wonderful place for new businesses to open,” Reed said. “We could always use more eateries. Our sales tax reports indicate this is a good place for people to invest, and I would really like to see more businesses coming to our city.”

Reed said sales tax revenue helps the city function and without a solid tax base it is hard for the city to increase revenue.

“We want to offer the citizens of this community a variety of businesses so we are going to work on recruiting them to come to our city,” Reed said.

Reed described Jemison as a “bedroom community” where a lot of residents commute to and from work outside of the community but travel back to Jemison at the end of the day.

“It would be wonderful to have more places for the young families that are locating to Jemison to have more places to take their families when they get off of work at night,” Reed said.

Although Reed acknowledged the tough economic times hurt the city during the last two years, he is confident 2013 will be a year of recovery and growth for the community.

“Growth will happen if it is planned and controlled,” Reed said.

Reed said he enjoys being able to serve his community as mayor and would not be able to accomplish his daily tasks if it weren’t for the help of those within the community.

“It is a unique thing for me to have taught in this community for more than 40 years and have a lot of former students that I taught providing camaraderie as we work together for the city of Jemison,” Reed said. “I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work closely with many people that I formerly taught at one time. Not many people can say that and I consider myself tremendously blessed.”