Clanton mayor discusses efforts to help business development

Published 1:42 pm Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

Clanton Mayor Jeff Mims gave the Merchant’s Association of Chilton County some updates on discussions and future plans.

Tax incentives for businesses located in the City of Clanton’s Peach Entertainment District was mentioned as a future possibility.

“We would create an architectural review committee,” Mims said. “There are going to be three people that are on that committee, you would bring their rendering to them. If they approve it, they would bring it back to us (city leadership) … We would give you your money back for whatever that is in tax incentives.”

Establishing such a tax incentive plan would require approval by the Clanton City Council. Mims said it was something he wanted to establish in order to help business owners improve the look of their buildings.

Efforts to bring more businesses into downtown “some restaurants, hopefully, maybe a couple of bars,” was also mentioned by Mims.

Mims said the city is also planning to put funding in the budget next year to add more of the decorative lighting downtown.

The mayor welcomed ideas from the business owners present on what they would like to see.

Later in the meeting, MACC leader Maymay Helms said the city economic developer Chris Dunlap mentioned looking for franchise owners to be able to bring chain businesses here.

“As business owners, it is important to understand that if you want to see some of those chain places (come) in, talk about it,” Helms said. “If you hear of someone that wants to invest some money, mention a franchise to them. It is a good thing. We need it here. We need different places, so think about that.”

The mayor also gave an update on the Poplar Springs Road project. Mims said there was one more piece of property the city needed to secure in order for the project to move forward.

In Jan. 2022, the city of Clanton received a $685,583 grant from the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program-II funding to realign how Country Club Road and Poplar Springs Road connect to Highway 31.  A new road from Highway 31 to Poplar Springs Road will be built from the intersection with the traffic light near Popeyes, and the current intersection at Country Club Drive will be eliminated.

A casual dining seafood restaurant is expected to be located near the new intersection. Mims said the restaurant would not be able to begin construction “until late summer or early fall” because of delays with the road project.

“We are trying to get more businesses, more pads in between San Marcos and Popeyes to be able to bring more businesses in, and I hope they are all restaurants,” Mims said.