O’Mary, Marion County mayors to discuss industrial recruitment along I-22

By RON HARRIS, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 2/21/18

Mayor David O’Mary informed Jasper City Council members Tuesday morning of a meeting he has planned with several area mayors to discuss industrial recruitment along Interstate 22.

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O’Mary, Marion County mayors to discuss industrial recruitment along I-22

Posted

Mayor David O’Mary informed Jasper City Council members Tuesday morning of a meeting he has planned with several area mayors to discuss industrial recruitment along Interstate 22.

O’Mary and mayors from Marion County municipalities — most of which lie along the I-22 corridor — will meet Thursday night in Jasper to talk about the future of industrial recruitment to northwest Alabama. Among those expected to attend are mayors from Winfield, Hamilton, Guin and Hackleburg.

“Having spent all my life in either Walker or Marion County, I know that both have a lot of things to offer,” O’Mary said following Tuesday’s meeting. “I think it‘s extremely important that we have a good relationship and know each other and are friends and can reach out and help each other.”

O’Mary said regardless of whether a plant chooses to locate in Jasper or Winfield or Hamilton, all municipalities along I-22 will benefit.

“If Winfield gets a plant, there will be folks from Jasper driving up there to work and come back here to spend their paychecks,” he said. “If we get a plant, there will be folks from Winfield, Guin or Hamilton coming here.”

The key, he said, is for the leaders of each of the municipalities to have a good working relationship.

“That’s what the drive for this meeting is,” O’Mary said.

The meeting, he added, will be a very informal gathering at Los Reyes restaurant in downtown Jasper.

O’Mary said he’s hoping to make the meetings a quarterly event.

“I think it’s an effort that can provide real benefits for our area,” he said, adding that the gatherings are a win-win effort for all involved.

“It’s not a budget breaker to bring those people to town to have a meal,” he said.

In other business, council members:

•approved minutes of the Feb. 6 meeting.

•presented a proclamation for World Spay Day, which is observed the last Tuesday in February each year.

World Spay Day is a campaign of the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association to advocate for spaying and neutering of pets.

O’Mary presented the proclamation to Susie Vann and Dee O’Mary, who both work closely with the city’s animal shelter.

A recent effort headed by Vann and O’Mary led to 228 animals being either spayed or neutered, the mayor said.

•approved a parade permit for the annual Simmons at Sunset 5K and Fun Run, sponsored by T.R. Simmons Elementary School.

Several kindergarten and first-grade students from the school were on hand to offer a brief explanation about the event, which is planned for Friday, May 4, from 5 until 7 p.m. beginning at the school.

The event, now in it’s sixth year, has helped raise more than $100,000 for the school.

•approved parade permits for the following:

— a Jasper High School Track and Field 5K, set for Thursday, April 5, beginning at 6 p.m. at Gamble Park.

— the Ivy G’s Pirate Parade 5K and half marathon, set for Saturday, May 5. Funds raised from the event will benefit Sasha’s Hope and Walker County Humane Society.

— the Tallulah half marathon, planned for June 9.

— an Alabama Power Service Organization 5K, set for Saturday, Oct. 13.

•conducted a public hearing and approved a retail beer license and retail table wine license for off-premise consumption for Nick, LLC, doing business as Express Mart located at 352 Highway 78 West.

•conducted a public hearing and approved a retail liquor license for on-premise consumption for Bobby Ray and Kim Patterson, LLC, doing business as The Barn 5.0 located at 5450 Highway 118.

•adopted an amendment to the city’s budget to provide funding for equipment for the city police department, and introduced an amendment for purchasing three additional vehicles for the police department, as well as funding for the Walker County Children’s Advocacy Center.

•adopted an ordinance to levy ad valorem taxes. “It’s just a standard ordinance we do each year,” said city clerk Kathy Chambless.

•adopted a resolution to allow O’Mary to enter into an agreement to contract with Local Government Services to provide franchise negotiations with Spire, which formally operated as Alagasco.

•allowed city attorney Russ Robertson to file legal action to finalize a deed to an individual.

•approved allowing O’Mary to enter into an agreement with McGehee Engineering for engineering services for a drainage project at Doctor’s Brach.

•recognized longtime city employee Shelia Stripling, who will retire on March 1.

Council members Jennifer Williams Smith and Willie Moore were not at the meeting.