Valley, East Alabama work well together

Published 7:37 pm Friday, July 13, 2018

Over the past several years, the City of Valley has taken care of some much-needed paving projects in the city. This includes some city streets in local neighborhoods and some big projects like 30th Street and 12th Avenue in Todd Addition, 20th Avenue from Langdale Methodist Church to the First Christian Church in River View and this year, the four-mile stretch from First Christian to Trammell block in Fairfax.

That’s a lot of paving! It’s a good thing this has been done. It was very much needed and will benefit a lot of people who drive along those roads almost every day. It was an immediate need that’s been taken care of. For sure, more road paving needs to be done, just ask the people who live on the portion of 29th Boulevard in Shawmut that didn’t get paved this year.

For the next couple of years, the city will be turning its attention to infrastructure needs for a major employer that’s coming this way and at Valley Industrial Park, a site that holds much promise in the way of having the kind of good-paying jobs that will keep our youth here.

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This is something that needs to be done. City officials and the Chambers County Development Authority deserve much credit for getting John Soules Foods to come here. This means that within the next five years there will be upward to 600 new jobs that aren’t here now. And these will be good-paying jobs, too, something our community sorely needs.

The City of Valley and the East Alabama Water, Sewer and Fire Protection District will be working together over the next couple of years to get the grant money needed for some sewer system and waste treatment plant upgrades needed by the new John Soules Foods plant. Some $750,000 has been approved for this. That’s a good start, but more funding will be needed. There’s every reason to be confident this will be taking place since it involves job creation.

Over the next couple of years, the city will be taking steps to realize the potential of Valley Industrial Park. Roads need to be built and water and sewer lines installed. To boost water pressure in the park, a new water tank may have to be built. As with John Soules Foods, it’s a priority project since it involves job creation.

We’re fortunate that Valley and East Alabama has such a good working relationship. We saw it in the recent road work on California Road and River Road. First, East Alabama took care of work that needed road cuts. New water lines were installed. Contractors hired by the city then paved that four-mile stretch of road. Better water and better roads. That’s a pretty good win-win for those who live in the area.

That good working relationship may be seen in future ambulance service. It’s pretty well known that fire departments and EMS service work well together. We’ve seen that in Lanett and West Point. We think we’ll also be seeing that in Valley.

That good working relationship between the city and East Alabama needs to continue with the John Soules Foods project and the development of Valley Industrial Park.

We are confident that it will. Both entities have leadership that’s committed to the public good, to make decisions that are in the interest of providing a better quality of life for Valley residents.