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IDA to partner for strategic plans beyond Clanton

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

What will this town look like in the future?

What do community members want to see in their town?

These are questions typically asked during the development of a strategic plan for a community.

The Industrial Development Authority is partnering with the governments of Jemison, Thorsby and Maplesville to develop a specific strategic plan for each.

Each municipality will contribute $1,000 to the cost of The Next Move Group developing the plan. This company led the development of the strategic plan for the county in 2018. Development of such a plan includes community input through open meetings.

The combined cost is estimated to cost an additional $6,000.

During the April 13 IDA meeting, Executive Director Whitney Barlow said she was working on a sponsor to cover a portion of this.

The IDA board approved contributing up to $6,000, so even if a sponsor is not found the cost will be covered.

Developing agritourism through a Grow Chilton Market was also discussed as a longer-term goal.

Also during the meeting, member and Chilton County Commissioner Matthew Mims was appointed secretary for the board, following the resignation of member Billy Singleton, who had represented the city of Clanton.

“I came to the realization that the combination of my responsibilities as a member of the City Council, president of the Chamber of Commerce and grant coordinator and secretary of the Chilton County Airport Authority while working full time makes it very difficult for me to contribute to the Industrial Development Authority in a meaningful manner,” Singleton said about his resignation. “I was elected to represent the people of Clanton as a member of the City Council and have served for many years on the Airport Authority and Chamber of Commerce Boards. Consequently, I feel that I can better serve the residents of the City of Clanton and Chilton County by devoting my time and efforts to those pursuits.”