Columbiana to ask local developers for tips on attracting more business

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Columbiana mayor Allen Lowe is looking for ways to attract business and residential developers to the city.

Lowe said he is in the process of organizing a meeting with developers from across Alabama as well as Columbiana government officials and local business leaders to discuss ideas of attracting new businesses, housing developments and residents.

&8220;We want to find out exactly what would attract people to Columbiana,&8221; Lowe said. &8220;We want to talk with developers to get their input on what they would like to see while at the same time imparting on them exactly what we&8217;re looking for.&8221;

The meeting, which is currently scheduled for Oct. 16, would address Columbiana&8217;s need to keep up with the growth of Shelby County while at the same time staying true to the city&8217;s atmosphere and history.

&8220;I&8217;ve heard a number of critiques of Columbiana that our geographic positions keeps us from attracting a large amount of businesses,&8221; Lowe said. &8220;I want to find a way to get around that.&8221;

Groups Lowe said he hopes will attend the meeting include developers, council members and other elected officials, planning and zoning board members, Columbiana Merchants and Professionals Association representatives, South Shelby Chamber of Commerce members, local realtors and bank officials

&8220;They are all stakeholders,&8221; he said. &8220;In the past Columbiana has been seen as anti-growth. This meeting is a step towards dispelling that perception.&8221;

Lowe said he believes the city has made a number of strides over the past few years towards welcoming new businesses and developments.

&8220;We&8217;ve spent years renovating our infrastructure and zoning ordinances. We&8217;re also working on plans for the rehabilitation of our streets and sidewalks,&8221; he said. &8220;I feel like we can accommodate the type of growth that Columbiana deserves.&8221;