The deal keeps getting better

Published 8:12 pm Monday, August 27, 2018

The city of Valley has been awarded a $500,000 grant by Gov. Kay Ivey that will help pave the way for 500 new jobs.

The city, in cooperation with the East Alabama Water, Sewer and Fire Protection District, will be using the Community Development Block Grant funds to provide the infrastructure necessary for John Soules Foods to located in a former WestPoint Home building off Towel Avenue.

Mayor Leonard Riley called this “very good news.” Those words couldn’t be truer.

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This grant could jump start some of the necessary work needed to get the plant going, beginning as soon as six to eight weeks from now.

Valley will also be providing matching funds for the project. In addition to the CDBG grant that’s been approved, the city is eligible for a $250,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The city and the rest of the municipalities in the Greater Valley Area have gone through several rough years as of late. The locating of Kia and Point University helped stymie and even reverse some of that loss, but the announcement that John Soules Foods is placing a plant in Valley is a true indicator that the economic realities of the area are turning around for the better.

Mayor Riley and the city council have strived to diversify the industrial options in the area to prevent future economic depression, like what was suffered when the mills closed. So far, they have been successful with courting several companies, including Frontline, to bring operations to the area.

This is a region with a long history of industry. Hopefully the efforts to bring the region back to that economic prosperity will succeed.