Why the Valley rejuvenation is better than you think

Published 1:30 pm Friday, February 23, 2018

Valley Mayor Leonard Riley spoke Wednesday at the Valley Community Center as part of the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce’s “State of the City” presentation. During Riley’s speech, he detailed the financial strides the city has made in the last four years, including positive news on infrastructure and economic viability.

And he’s right.

Riley mentioned how, once the final mill closed, the economic downturn that ensued made the area unappealing to potential industries.

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But in the past four years, bonds have been refinanced, budgets have been reined in and industries are now looking to Valley as a potential home.

This is even better news than we realize.

One of the positive results from bringing in new industry is that, invariably, there will be some people moving here.

This means our population will increase, driving appeal to big chain businesses, stores and restaurants that have population thresholds for where they will open new locations .

When, inevitably, there are more people and more shopping and eating options, Valley and the surrounding area will look more appealing to groups and events that might want to set up in a new location.

The Valley area could easily accommodate several annual sporting events, rodeos, races and even a few conventions.

As you can see, the act of building up the town and increasing the industrial footprint will have a positive domino effect on the entire area.

Valley, along with Lanett and West Point, could easily begin to rival LaGrange, Opelika and Auburn in both size and accommodations over time.

During the Wednesday presentation, Riley ended his discussion by pointing out that three times in recent history Valley has been the second choice for companies looking to open a new plant.

The mayor’s words of defiance, “Not anymore,” are a sure sign that while the future is never certain, the leadership from the city of Valley is taking concrete steps to ensure the future is positive.