Thorsby approves economic developer position

Published 3:45 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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Van Forrester with the Industrial Development Board explained his proposal for a full-time economic developer during the Thorsby Town Council meeting on Aug. 21.

Currently, the position is part-time and focuses only on industrial development and not retail development.

The developer will focus on working together with outside businesses and helping fill the wants and needs of certain areas of the county.

Other than helping new businesses find a home, the developer’s responsibilities would also involve running abatements or rebates with current industries, such as Boise Cascade in Thorsby.

Forrester is going around to each of the municipalities in Chilton County and presenting them with the plan.

According to Forrester, it is an action that has never been done before, but something he believes will pay economic dividends for the county as a whole.

By bringing it to the Thorsby Council on Aug. 21, he hopes to secure a spot on next year’s budget, which is scheduled to be finalized in October.

The IDB will remain over the developer, who will serve as a liaison for the board.

Councilwoman Marilyn Collins raised the question about how the developer would go about selecting which part of the county to direct a business.

Forrester informed Collins and the rest of the Council that conversations will be had ahead of time so that the developer is on the same page with the goals of the city.

After the discussion, the Thorsby Council agreed unanimously to accept Forrester’s resolution.

In other news from the meeting, the Council:

  • Agreed to look into ways to slow down the traffic at the intersection of Alabama Avenue and Franklin Street next to Richard Wood Park, as drivers continue to run the stop signs at that location. Mayor Robert Hight will look into it and report back.
  • Approved to hire Colby Ramsey as a part-time employee with the fire department at a rate of $12.88 an hour. He is EMT certified.
  • The next meeting was rescheduled from Sept. 4 to Sept. 5 at 6 p.m., due to the regularly scheduled time falling on Labor Day.
  • A work session about next year’s budget will follow the Sept. 5 meeting.
  • The Thorsby FFA will hold a steak dinner at Jeff State on Aug. 24 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Garrison Farm & Home in Thorsby, Jemison Family Chiropractic and C&C Trophy & Sign in Clanton.
  • Approved the minutes from the Aug. 7 Council meeting.