Council plans growth meetings, names economic committee

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Montevallo Mayor Sharon Anderson has announced the creation of an ad hoc economic development committee to plan for growth.

She also recently announced a series of dates for town meetings during which citizens would be encouraged to offer their opinions on growth.

And on a motion by Councilmember Hollie Cost, the council approved a resolution committing to the completion of a 20-year growth plan.

During the council&8217;s regular Jan. 23 meeting, Anderson announced ad hoc Economic Development Committee members will include Robert Doyle of the Shelby County Economic and Industrial Development Authority; Susan Fulmer, president of Dixie Decorations; Don Horsley, transmission vice president for Alabama Power; Ken Jones, vice president of Regions Bank; John Kirby, regional vice president for Peoples Bank & Trust Company; Scott Lovelady, entrepreneur and owner of several Montevallo businesses; Ben McCrory, president of the board of directors of the Montevallo Chamber of Commerce; Dr. William Rupp, dean of the Michael E. Stephens College of Business at the University of Montevallo; and David Thomas, industrial development manager for the states of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana for Norfolk Southern Railroad.

Ex officio members of the committee are Richard Anderson, chairman of the Montevallo Industrial Development Board, and James Dedes, executive director of the Shelby County Economic and Industrial Development Authority.

Anderson also announced that town meetings on growth in Montevallo would be held Feb. 9, Feb. 23 and March 9, all at 7 p.m. at Orr Park.

Cost introduced a resolution committing the council to completing a 20-year economic development plan, which was approved on a 4-1 vote.

Councilmember Becky Cox-Rodgers cast the lone &8216;no&8217; vote. Anderson did not vote.

In a matter also related to growth, the council approved the low bid of DA Utilities for the Highway 119 sewer extension north at a cost of some $192,727.

Cox-Rodgers also cast the only negative vote on this issue.

Voting to approve the bid were Mayor Anderson and councilmembers Dana Byrd, Willie Goldsmith, Greg Pendleton and Hollie Cost.

When contacted for comment, Cox- Rodgers said she opposed the commitment to the 20-year plan because in her mind, the council had already committed to that.

Also, without a moratorium in the plan, she said of the Planning and Zoning Board, &8220;What are we going to do in the interim? We don&8217;t have any direction from the council.&8221;

As to the sewer extension, Cox-Rodgers said the company awarded the bid is owned by one of the developers of subdivision to which the line is going.

She said even though the council had advice that was not a conflict of interest, she said that issue bothered her.

She also noted that city engineer Ben Carr recommended to accept this bid, when he first told the council no bid was necessary.

The council approved a $1,000 per year contract with CGS Events for city events.

And it was announced that an archeological report from Auburn University showed a proposed hiking trail would have no negative impact.

Cox-Rodgers also requested that a proposal that the minimum number of acres required under the city&8217;s burn ordinance be increased to five acres