Industrial board eager to get the word out about Heflin's industrial park
by Laura Camper
lcamper@annistonstar.com
May 08, 2013 | 4489 views |  0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dirt is moving at the city of Heflin’s industrial park, said Mayor Rudy Rooks at the Industrial Development Board meeting on Tuesday.

“We’ve got the dozer back there,” Rooks said of the 200 acres of land along Interstate 20 that the city owns.

He’s arranged to have some of the vegetation cleared off the property and is working with the owners of adjoining land, Charles Hunt and the Alabama Department of Transportation, to allow a clear view of the land from the interstate, Rooks said.

“I just need to detail what we want to do there,” Rooks said.

But for the last few months, that has been a problem.

Money is one issue — the board doesn’t have a steady stream of money to plug into projects at the park, board member Wendell Wood said at the meeting. City Clerk Shane Smith said at the meeting that the board has $50,734 at its disposal.

“It’s going to take money to get the dust kicked up,” Rooks said. “To get the brochures, the website, contacting people.”

In addition, the board has been in learning mode over the last few months. In March, the group asked state Sen. Gerald Dial to speak to its members about economic development. This month, board member Tanya Maloney invited Melvin “Bud” Chambless, a former Cleburne County resident who now lives in Pearisburg , Va, to address them on the same topic. Maloney said Tuesday she will also be contacting former Gov. Bob Riley to speak to the board members as well.

Tuesday the board took some of the ideas they’ve been hearing and put them into action. Board members Wendell Wood and Steven Lines suggested the board hire someone to create a website for the park.

“Everything we’ve been hearing is website, website, website,” Lines said. “We’re getting to that point. We need to be ready to go.”

He suggested the board start looking for a professional to design a website and some marketing material for the industrial park.

Board member Jerry Cash volunteered to contact some companies about creating the website to get an idea of how much it would cost. Maloney said she knew someone who could design a marketing flyer, while board member Faye McIntyre said she would approach the art department at the University of West Georgia about having students create a logo for the industrial park.

The board has also heard over and over that the approach to developing the park should be regional. At its April meeting, Wood said the board requested he create a resolution that would unite the city and the county in support of the Industrial Development Board.

Wood read a resolution that he came up with that he asked to present to the Board of Commissioners at its work session on Monday.

If the county and the city pass resolutions, Wood said, it would be a sign to Montgomery that the board is ready to move forward for the benefit of the residents of the county.

County Commissioners Bobby Brooks and Emmett Owen both expressed an interest in moving forward with the board.

“I think we need to get rolling, get going,” Brooks said.

Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-463-2872. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.
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