Calera growing through recession

Published 12:12 pm Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In his remarks to the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week, Calera Mayor Jon Graham said the city is choosing not to participate in the economy’s current recession.

When I heard Graham’s comments, I thought they were intended to get a chuckle out of his audience; turns out the mayor was serious, as evidenced by the many projects currently in the works in the city.

The most visible anti-recession evidence in Calera is no doubt the nearing completion of The Calera Marketplace, soon to be home to a new Publix grocery store that promises good local shopping and increased sales taxes for the city.

The new store is set to open in a couple of weeks, seemingly rising overnight to those of us who drive by the site frequently.

But City Engineer Chris Pappas shared other projects, which might be even more meaningful, with the Calera City Council earlier this week.

Work to resurface lanes of U.S. 31 from the Chilton County line to seventh Avenue by ALDOT could begin this summer.

Resurfaced lanes will improve the driving experience and safety for drivers along that busy stretch of road, and put a fresh face on Calera’s downtown.

Creation of a Shelby County 25 bypass, which would take trucks off those freshly paved streets, is also moving closer to becoming a reality.

Updates to the city’s floodplain maps, which will play an important role in helping residents and business owners know if flood insurance is necessary for their home or office, and the creation of a new 10-booth farmers’ market round out the body of evidence that Calera, indeed, is moving forward despite the tight economy.

So the next time I hear Jon Graham deliver a possible one-liner, I’ll be sure to take him at his word while looking forward to even more good news for the city and its residents.