Classics site deal a winner

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Last week, the Columbiana City Council voted to authorize Mayor Allan Lowe to sign a contract to buy the Summer Classics property.

The city council voted 4-1 to allow the mayor to purchase the five-acre site for $525,000, of which the city and Shelby County will each pay half.

The agreement shows just how well municipalities and county governments can work together in achieving a common goal.

While plans are not completely finalized, the idea is to take the burned down furniture manufacturing factory in Columbiana and transform it into a commercial, residential and public use facility.

There&8217;s little doubt what immense impact the development will have on Columbiana and the county as a whole. New condominiums will bring fresh faces (and a larger tax base) to the county seat. Also, the new businesses that will set up shop will further add to the economic impact the development will bring.

The site will also house a new school building for the Academy of Fine Arts of Shelby County, which will foster the abilities of some of the state&8217;s brightest and most talented youngsters.

The county has stipulated that for their share of the bill, a park or amphitheater must be built. There is also talk that the site may house Columbiana&8217;s fledgling Farmers&8217; Market on Saturday mornings.

The deal is really a win-win for everyone involved. The city and county will both benefit for the development&8217;s economic boom, while residents will reap the gains of a beautiful new park, more choices of where to shop, live and educate their students.