Montevallo mayor presents update on city

Montevallo Mayor Hollie Cost shares updates on the city during the Montevallo Chamber of Commerce luncheon Jan. 16. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – Montevallo Mayor Hollie Cost shared how the city is “moving beyond the status quo” during a Montevallo Chamber of Commerce luncheon Jan. 16.

“I came to realize we have to work together to be the community we can be,” Cost said. “We want to embrace our identity.”

Cost divided the city’s identity into three facets, including environment, arts and education.

Cost used the example of how a local Mexican restaurant benefited from the Montevallo Art Walk to show how the city’s art community can benefit the local economy.

“El Agave improved sales by 400 percent during the first art walk,” Cost said. “This is one way to utilize arts to stimulate the economy.”

Cost said city leadership is discussing ways to use the former Victory auto building, which is located adjacent to Montevallo City Hall on Main Street. The Montevallo Arts Council and city leadership have considered developing an “arts incubator” in the empty building, which would be run by the arts council, Cost said.

In terms of environment, the city continues to partner with Habitat for Humanity to renovate the Shoal Creek-Prentice Village community near Montevallo Middle School.

Additionally, Cost said the city has a plan to develop a master plan for the city’s trail system. The trail would eventually connect Ebenezer Swamp to Falling Rock Falls, she said.

The city is also “working toward improvements” on Montevallo City Hall.

The Montevallo Connection, an entity designed to “strengthen all educational institutions by collaborating and working together,” has created strong ties between Montevallo schools and the University of Montevallo, Cost said.

“When people look to move to the community, the first thing they do is look at some evaluation of the schools,” Cost said. “We have exceptional schools with exceptional educations. I feel like we get better and better and stronger and stronger.”

Cost said she intends to portray Montevallo as a “P through 16 educational community,” or preschool through graduate school, with education as a “true source of pride” for the city.