Excited about ‘state of the county’

Published 9:41 am Monday, February 16, 2015

A Chilton County commissioner discussed the “state of the county” at this month’s Chilton County Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Commissioner Joseph Parnell’s message essentially was that the state of Chilton County is a good one, and it’s hard to disagree.

Of course, there are obstacles to economic development, as Parnell was sure to mention, but those obstacles can be overcome when local leaders work together toward the same goal.

There’s plenty of evidence that this is already happening. Parnell and fellow commissioners have scheduled work sessions devoted to economic development, and have met with leaders of areas in the state comparable to Chilton County, such as Cullman and Greenville. Those economic developers from other areas have shared ideas about how to prepare a county for growth, and also brought up potential problems that should be avoided.

It’s encouraging that local officials are taking a proactive approach to economic development. It’s even more encouraging that they are seeking the advice of others who have been where we are now.

And the commission has invited the public to attend these work sessions so residents can share their input.

As we all know, Chilton County has much to offer. One example is the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center adjacent to Jefferson State Community College.

CPAC hosted the Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s Annual Beekeeping Symposium on Feb. 7, marking the first time the event had been held outside Auburn. With a record 720 registered attendees, the response was so overwhelming that organizers are planning to spread out the event over two days next year.

Clanton, and Chilton County, enjoy an ideal location for attracting out-of-towners. More and more of those visitors, whether it be businesses or new residents, will be coming here to stay.

Parnell said it best at the Chamber luncheon: “I’m very optimistic about the growth of this county and what we can accomplish together.”