CCEDC: Traffic count should make Florala boom

Published 1:49 am Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Jacob Morgan, project manager for the Covington County Economic Development Commission, assured members of the Florala City Council, as well as local residents, that CCEDC wants to help.

Morgan said CCEDC, which gets financial support from municipalities in the county, as well as industries, said retail is tougher to recruit in some instances than industry.

“If you are brining in jobs, you can get a lot of help from the state, depending upon the amount of people hired, and the wages paid. But when it comes to restaurants, things like that, it’s not there.”

He was speaking of state incentives. However, he said, the CCEDC tries, and will represent Florala and other municipalities at a major retail trade show in Las Vegas later this year.

“We can’t do a whole lot when it comes to that,” he said. “Industry, putting people to work, we can really hone in on and focus on that. It’s not thriving as it has been been, but we’re going to make every attempt to see that it happens.”

Morgan said local challenges include having an educated work force that is attractive to industries, as well as attractive housing for those who would move in with a new industry.

“It takes a lot of infrastructure to get those things right,” he said.

Morgan said one of Florala’s strengths is its traffic count.

“The traffic numbers that come through here, I’m telling you, that is a gold mine,” he said. “Red Level, Ala., doesn’t get get the traffic that you do. At lunch time on Main Street in Opp, Ala., some days you couldn’t hit anybody with a rock, but that’s because it’s got a bypass going around it.

“The people you have here, there is money to be had out there on that main street.”

The council:

• Set a city-wide clean-up day for Sat., March 21.

• Was told that Mayor Robert Williamson has secured a pledge of $50,000 toward a proposed new playground.

• Discussed derelict properties.