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IDA creates committee to focus on towns

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Chiton County Industrial Development Authority board of directors unanimously approved creating a sub-committee to focus on special projects and events for Maplesville, Thorsby and Jemison at its Sept. 14 meeting.

Maplesville Mayor W.C. Hayes and Thorsby Mayor Robert Hight abstained on the vote.

IDA Executive Director Whitney Barlow said the goal was to help these communities develop some tourism and economic development that is the best fit.

Members of the committee would include Hayes, Hight, Jemison administrator Shannon Welch and IDA board chair Monica Cooper.

“What we are trying to do is drive people into the smaller communities and have activities scattered through them that will bring not just residents of the county, but draw tourism from central Alabama,” Barlow said.

Diana Windsor of the Alabama Mineral Springs company gave an update that road drawings had been received and updates made to Google Maps to direct traffic onto a better route than how it had been directing large trucks.

Windsor said the company is also looking into grant opportunities.

“The water tests continue to be perfect … we have secured the money for the building, and we are now pursuing funding for the bottling,” Windsor said. “… We are still six months out.”

Also during the meeting, Treasurer Liz Huntley said the IDA will have some funds carry over from this fiscal year, which ends this month, into the next fiscal year. On the financial report, it was showing about $115,000 would be left over from this fiscal year. However, Huntley said there are still some things to be paid this month, so the actual amount would be less.

“With things kind of being a rollercoaster ride this year, some of the things that we intended to do are going to carry over into next year,” Huntley said.

The term for two the board members ends this month. The Chilton County Commission is expected to open nominations or re-appoint the members at a meeting in the near future