City agrees to partner with county on economic development

Published 4:39 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Chilton County and the city of Clanton could soon be working together toward economic development in the area.

The Clanton City Council on Monday approved forming a partnership with the county to study the purchase of property that could be used as an industrial park.

Clanton Mayor Billy Joe Driver told the council of the commission’s wish to form a partnership. He participated in an economic development work session March 16 with county officials.

The council discussed benefits and concerns about the partnership, including language in the motion that the city and county would make any potential purchase on a “50/50” basis.

Other concerns included whether a potential site for an industrial park would be located in the city limits, why other municipalities in the county are not involved and whether such a project would benefit the city enough to justify the investment.

Ultimately, the council unanimously agreed to the proposal, apparently out of a desire to do whatever possible to spur growth in the county and city.

In other business, the council:

•Approved the purchase of a new fire engine for $467,977.

•Heard from Jackie Baker with the West End Neighborhood Watch, who thanked the mayor, council and police department for their support of projects in the community. Baker showed the council photos of before and after a recent clean-up and said the group needed the city’s help in reaching out to owners of run-down properties. It was also announced that a May Day festival would be held on May 9 in West End. Paul Dixon, chairman of the newly-formed Neighborhood Watch non-profit organization, also addressed those in attendance. “This is a new day and a new beginning,” Dixon said. “Now it’s time to go to the next level.” Councilman Greg DeJarnett thanked the Neighborhood Watch leadership and encouraged attendance at the May Day festival. “We’re going to make it a county-wide event,” DeJarnett said.

•Tabled a decision about amending an agreement with Coca-Cola. The company wants to provide four scoreboards for city ballparks in exchange for extending an agreement with the city through 2025. Council members and Driver were unsure about where Coca-Cola intended to install the scoreboards and why the company desires an agreement through the next 10 years when previous agreements have lasted five years.