Clanton names economic developer

Published 1:29 pm Friday, October 21, 2022

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

The city of Clanton has hired Chris Dunlap as its director of economic developer.

From Auburn, Dunlap has experience in commercial development in smaller cities in Alabama as an associate broker, a consultant and assistant developer.

Dunlap said he was interested in the Clanton position because he wanted to be a “part of a new team that could help develop new industry and help create the vision that the mayor sees and work with the council to bring in opportunities.”

He also knew about Clanton from Chief of Staff Bob Woods.

He said he is looking forward to meeting and working with everyone “to create opportunity for people.”

Mayor Jeff Mims introduced Dunlap to the Clanton City Council at its Oct. 20 meeting.

“We are looking forward to a lot of good things coming up here in the future,” Mims said.

A presentation was made by David Gentry, owner of Door Number 3 films, during the meeting asking for a $3,000 investment in the company’s first commercial film, which will be released in a series of chapters. This investment would pay for one of the chapters of the horror-comedy “Fall Boy.” Gentry presented an itemized list of what the funds would cover. A short film on the concept, and the remaining script has already been completed.

The majority of the film would be filmed in Chilton County.

In addition, Gentry said he is working with Alabama creatives to create a traveling film festival, and he is hoping to have one in Clanton’s entertainment district.

Mims has proposed donating to the City of Clanton Arts Council for the amount, and having them give the funds to Gentry. A vote on this will be made on Oct. 24.

Funding to complete the project will come from grants, other investors, Gentry’s own resources or being picked up by a studio. Gentry said he is in conversations about options.

Also during the meeting, the council discussed its agenda for Oct. 24. The council will vote on a $2 per room per night fee for hotels and lodging, applying for a Community Development Block Grant to remove blight houses and a lease agreement renewal with a company renting a city-owned building. A rezoning hearing will also be held for a property on Bradberry Lane from business B2 to residential R1. Council member Wade Watley asked that the council consider suspending the rules on Oct. 24 after the public hearing to allow a vote to happen during the same meeting because the property owners are trying to sell it.