Mayor: A ‘myriad’ of things going on in Wilsonville
By STEPHANIE BRUMFIELD / Staff Writer
WILSONVILLE – After receiving a $400,000 sidewalk grant in September, the city of Wilsonville has been pursuing other grants aggressively and has a “myriad of things going on long-term,” said Wilsonville Mayor Lee McCarty Dec. 5.
McCarty addressed members of the community at a breakfast sponsored by the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce Dec. 5 and said he expects to see changes and growth in the city within the next few years. The council’s task is to “make sure that the change that comes is correct and beneficial,” he said.
In addition to aggressively applying for grants – including one that would help replace water meters that are 25 years old – McCarty said the council has been aggressively paying down the city’s debt and finding better, less expensive ways to do things.
“The only debt we have is the improvements we had to make to connect to the Columbiana water system a few years ago,” he said. “We pay extra principal down on that every month, and we’ve made a whole lot of progress on that.”
Other changes, like getting a new bank, are still to come.
“SouthPoint Bank has announced that, pending FDIC approval, they will be there,” McCarty said. “The state has approved it, and we’re just simply awaiting FDIC approval.”
McCarty also addressed the growth that Wilsonville has seen in the last few years. Although Wilsonville’s population was on the decline for several years, McCarty said the city’s population is nearing its zenith with the last census reaching 1,937 people. By the next census, McCarty said the city would easily be over 2,000.
“A lot of people live in Wilsonville because they do not want to live next to the traffic (of bigger cities),” McCarty said. “We have managed to keep our sales tax one of the lowest in the county because we don’t have all of the services and businesses that some of the bigger towns have to offer. It’s a trade off. If you like it a little slower-paced and a little bit less expensive to live, Wilsonville is the place (to live) compared to some of the bigger cities.”
The next city council meeting will be Dec. 23, during which the city will receive feedback on the water meter grant proposal.