City of Andalusia chosen for Innovate Alabama Network

Published 9:15 am Wednesday, May 15, 2024

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The City of Andalusia recently was selected as a new member of the Innovate Alabama Network, and was awarded $65,000 in grant funding for technology in its new Heritage Park.

The designation program is administered by Innovate Alabama, which is a statewide public-private partnership focused on entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation. The organization was formed as a result of Governor Kay Ivey’s Alabama Innovation Commission in 2021 to implement the commission’s recommendations.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for the work our city is doing,” Mayor Earl Johnson said.

The Innovate Alabama Network serves as a comprehensive resource that connects communities, nonprofits and higher education institutions across the state who are fostering innovation in their own backyard. Through this designation program, Innovate Alabama recognizes those who are shaping the state’s ecosystem.

The City of Andalusia sought funding to expand its Smart infrastructure to offer Wi-Fi hotspots and video surveillance in its new Heritage Park, currently under construction on South Cotton Street.

“Our goals in the design and construction of Heritage Park came from public input in a series of Town Hall meetings,” Mayor Earl Johnson said. “Residents wanted more green space, and to make our downtown more liveable. This fits with our goal of making Andalusia both a destination location, and a place with a quality of life that attracts new residents to our area.

“We know from our experience with Christmas in Candyland that Wi-Fi access is an important component for many in choosing destinations and experiences. We are already seeing increased interest in development in the areas surrounding the new park, and this feature will further enhance that development.

“We are pleased to have been selected as a member of the Innovate Alabama Network, and look forward to many more years of innovation,” the mayor said.