Calera park deal a win-win for everyone
Chemical Lime Co. recently committed to donating $7 million toward the creation of a new sports complex in the city of Calera. The complex as proposed would cover some 55 acres adjacent to the existing Oliver Park.
Offering residents such amenities as high school and youth baseball fields, softball fields, NCAA regulation soccer fields, tennis courts and more, the complex would be located next to the future Calera High School adding even more utility to its use.
The company has also promised to establish an education fund to provide scholarships and equipment for Calera schools each year; additional commitments made by the company would buffer noise and dust produced by the proposed quarry while potentially taking trucks off already crowded roadways.
To say the offer by Chemical Lime is generous is an understatement; to say the city&8217;s leadership is excited about the possibility of locating such a complex within Calera falls short of adequately describing the sheer joy this opportunity creates.
Without Chemical Lime&8217;s generous offer, a park such as that which is proposed would be a decade or more away. With the company&8217;s donation, children may very well be playing ball on those proposed fields by this fall.
Now to be fair, this donation does not come without its strings; Chemical Lime has asked the city to annex and zone 376 acres located at the company&8217;s plant off Alabama 25.
Understandably so, the request has upset some landowners who fear decreased property values. But this certainly appears to be a clear case of the greater good outweighing the few.
Chemical Lime more than likely could have eventually opened a quarry without making this donation; there are other ways of accomplishing such things. But what the company has chosen to do is speed the process along with an unprecedented donation and that, in the end, will be good for all concerned.
The next step toward the creation of the complex is a &8220;yes&8221; vote for the zoning of the property at the Calera Planning Commission&8217;s March 6 meeting; such is likely.
Win-wins are hard to find in this day and time. Certainly, the city of Calera, its residents and the Chemical Lime Co. have created such a circumstance in this case and are to be applauded for forging a civic/private effort that will be beneficial to generations to come
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