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Hartselle Enquirer

Expert assistance sought

By Staff
Robert Frances, Guest columnist
I hope after reading the three previous articles that you have a reasonable understanding of the Hartselle Development Board (HDB). Today, I will discuss the board's dependence on others (property owners, city government and Hartselle Utilities) without which HDB would have no purpose. Also, I will cover the approach for broadening the board's competence as well as efforts and ideas to enhance the business community.
Obviously, development-ready property is essential to the HDB's success in attracting new businesses and industry. Owners have the key role of identifying to the board property that they would like to see developed. Significant acreage has been identified to us by numerous property owners, but broad coverage of the Hartselle area is lacking, particularly in downtown and along Highway 31. Let me urge property owners and realtors once more; if you have not submitted property that you wish to be included, please contact Jeremy Griffith at 773-0188 or me at 773-6325. Our marketing will offer you the opportunity to showcase your property to a broad range of prospects.
Upon expressed interest by a prospect, we will refer the prospect to you. It becomes your responsibility at that time to negotiate a price, etc. Ours is a supporting role to assist you by providing information such as demographics, traffic counts, etc. We plan a property owners meeting later this summer to offer the benefit of our experience as well as a proposed guest speaker, an expert in the field of commercial real estate.
Next, we must be competitive for commercial and industrial development. The city government and Hartselle Utilities are key players here.
Recognizing the need to stimulate interstate development and aided by the I-65 Development Study, the city in 2002 passed:
In 2003 and 2004, the city participated in legislative activity that included requests for federal funds for construction of the Northern Boulevard and for expansion of industrial park.
Hartselle Utilities has provided basic utilities infrastructure to the 36/65 area in the mid 1990s. Significant tracks of property have sanitary sewer available. Also, HU provides water service to the area through 8 inch and more recently construction 16-inch transmission mains. Natural gas service is available from HU while electrical service is provided by Joe Wheeler EMC.
The Thompson Road I-65 Interchange is served by HU's new 1 million gallon water storage tank on Byrd Road and a new 16-inch water main. A 10-inch water main is under construction to serve the area along Cedar Creek Road. Natural gas service is available from HU with electrical service provided by HU and Joe Wheeler EMC. HU sanitary sewer is available in the existing industrial park and a plan is developed to provide service to the entire interchange area contingent on annexation and availability of funds.
Current efforts by HDB, other than marketing/recruitment of new businesses include:
Finally, in ongoing efforts to broaden our knowledge and to better equip us to do our job, we are communicating with two individuals (respectively expert in industrial and commercial development) to schedule visits here to speak to us. We plan to periodically seek such speakers, permitting us to remain current and proficient.
This concludes the series about the Hartselle Development Board. I am sincerely grateful to have had the opportunity to share these facts with you. In doing so, I hope my goals of informing you and building credibility, gaining support and securing advocacy for this board have been achieved.
Robert Francis is a retired civil engineer and a charter member and current chairman of the Hartselle Development Board.

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