Dudchock highlights county projects at luncheon

PELHAM – Shelby County Manager Alex Dudchock provided an overview of the progress made in the county during fiscal year 2017 at the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of the County Address on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the Pelham Civic Complex.

Before going over the many projects that began in the county during FY 2017, Dudchock shared some county statistics. According to a July 1, 2016 estimate, the county’s population sits at 210,622. Of that, 146,254 residents live in incorporated parts of the county and 64,368 reside in unincorporated parts of the county.

The county has a per capita income – which measures the average income earned per person in a given area in a specified year – of $33,494, a median household income of $70,187 and a median housing value of $192,808.

The county’s fiscal year 2018 budget amounts to $116,297,128, which includes all funds, sources and revenues.

Dudchock highlighted several of the county’s accomplishments over the past year, including adding more hangars at the county airport, upgrades at Oak Mountain State Park and projects being completed in partnership with county municipalities.

Twelve more airplane hangars are set to be constructed at the Shelby County Airport, Dudchock said.

“We won’t be building any more for a while after this, but we will still have a waitlist for people wanting a hangar,” he said.

The BMX track at OMSP, the largest state park in Alabama, was lengthened taking the track from 900 feet to just over 1,100 feet. Upgrades at the facility also included rebuilding and asphalting the turns, improving the concessions and bathrooms, adding additional lighting and improving fences.

Dudchock said he got the most feedback from the public about the upgrades at OMSP’s Beaver Lake. The project included adding three new piers, two beaches, a sand volleyball court, a sidewalk and installed fish habitat in various areas.

The county also executed agreements with the cities of Pelham and Alabaster to complete projects within the cities. The county is partnering with Pelham to construct four sand volleyball courts, two outdoor basketball courts, a pavilion with restrooms, associated parking and a trailhead connector at Pelham City Park where the newly built Pelham Park Middle School is located. A recreation center and library are also being constructed at the park.

In Alabaster, the city is partnering with the county to construct a pavilion for the drone field/course at Veteran’s Park. Dudchock said the drone field will be ideal for academic competitions for area schools.

The county also has an agreement with Alabaster City Schools to add lighting, public seating and restrooms in the new high school track and field complex. The county will have access for the interior athletic field to host sporting events. The field will meet NCAA lighting regulations for soccer and lacrosse.

But Dudchock said the projects he spoke about don’t cover all of the projects happening within the county.

“We’ve got projects happening all over the county,” Dudchock said. “This presentation doesn’t even begin to cover them all. We’ve got more projects than I’ve got time to talk.”

Shelby County’s new economic development entity, 58 Inc., also announced the hiring of its first director of economic development at the luncheon. Chad Scroggins, 58 Inc. board member and chief development officer for Shelby County, named Yvonne Murray, 33, as the entity’s leader. Murray’s first day on the job is slated for Nov. 6.