Florala looking for ways to grow city, revenue

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Florala officials are now working on a citywide strategic plan to maximize both revenue and growth.

Now, they’re looking for input on how to make that happen.

Scott Farmer with the Southeast Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission gave council members an outline to follow, but challenged them to design something specific for Florala.

“This plan will easily identify what your vision, your mission, is for Florala,” Farmer said. “It will allow you to create goals and objectives, to make an action plan to achieve those goals and give you the framework you need to move the city forward.”

Mayor Robert Williamson said it was his goal to see the “planning portion of the plan” completed within the next two months.

One suggestion Farmer gave was to get the public “energized” about the plan.

“Getting the public’s support is very important to making this plan work,” he said.

To meet Williamson’s two-month draft-ready deadline, the council organized a committee, which consists of Sue Mathis, Lynn Jones, Hazel Lee, Charles and Linda Russell and appointees from the Chamber of Commerce, the Florala High School ambassadors and any city council member who wishes to serve. The first meeting is set for Mon., Jan. 31, at 6 p.m. Input is welcome.

In other business, the council:

• appointed Lorena Bryant to the Florala Utilities Board to fill the vacant term of James Stone.

• set a rental fee for the Florala City Middle School for non-profit organizations at half the regular rental rate.

• agreed to apply for $10,000 in Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow Rivers Watershed Management Authority grant funds to repair culverts that feed into Lake Jackson.

• announced the desire to remove speed bumps in Councilwoman Hazel Lee’s district, and asked for public comment at the Feb. 14 meeting.