SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Mayor Jim Heigl is a Sylacaugan through and through. He has lived in the city his whole life, excluding his four years of active duty in the armed forces.
“This city has been good to me,” said Heigl. “Now, I just want to give back to Sylacauga.”
Although Heigl loves the city, he openly admits there are many aspects of the city that need to be improved.
The first facet he believes needs to be improved are the roads. Many residents would agree. Heigl took his stance on the beat-up roadways during his campaign and he is not backing down from that stance now. “Paving has been on the top of my list for quite some time now, even before I took office,” he said Heigl. “It’s something the council and I both agree on.”
Heigl’s first priority is Ft. Williams Street. He said the major issue lies between Broadway Avenue and the intersection beside Wells Fargo. He said developers have mentioned how bad the roads are, especially Ft. Williams Street. The mayor will meet with individuals next week to discuss paving Ft. Williams. But Ft. Williams is not the only road that needs to be paved. Many roads in the downtown area need repair. The City is currently looking for grants to help fund the projects. Heigl estimated each road he would like to pave would cost somewhere around $1 million and he wants to get at least one road completed every year.
New projects and development are also on the to-do list of the mayor and city council. “We will focus on the projects which offer the best promise and success for our city,” said Heigl.”Projects of importance and financially affordability that have already been implemented will be followed up on.
Heigl cited the current process of re-zoning property on Hwy. 280 as a step in the right direction towards getting more businesses in the city limit. The mayor and the city council have been working closely with Hutton Team LLC. to get businesses committed to coming into the city.
Jamey Flegal with Hutton Team told SylacaugaNews.com his company has roughly six stores committed to bringing their business to Sylacauga. Flegal said he hopes to break ground by May or June and have tenants in buildings by February 2018.
Many development companies are buying older buildings and refurbishing them. 2nd Street of Sylacauga LLC. has already begun turning the former Coast-to-Coast building into an Ollie’s Bargain Center. That shopping center will also hold two additional stores in the future. Heigl said there is a possibility the old K-Mart building will be torn down and rebuilt by developers.
New industries coming to the city is also on city leaders’ agenda. Heigl met with an industry this week that he hopes to bring into the city. He said city leaders are continuously searching to bring new industries and businesses into the city that will help growth.
Speaking of growth, Heigl wants to grow the population among young people. He praised his constituents for electing “younger” adults to the city council. He said he wants their ideas and respects their input because they are the future.
For young people to stay there has to be more opportunity. He said the council’s ability to bring in jobs and businesses will be key in getting young adults to not only come, but also stay in the community.
“City government is supporting the growth of new businesses which are increasing along with new and expanding industries in our area” said Heigl.
Cleaning up the city is also atop Heigl’s list. He is asking residents to keep their yards as clean as possible. He wants to keep right-of-ways, parks, and city streets clean. “I want our city to be clean and neat,” said Heigl. “I want people to enjoy everything Sylacauga has to offer.” Heigl repeated the phrase “people are looking at us” and believes the city needs to put its best foot forward at all times.
But how will the City of Sylacauga achieve all of this?
Sylacauga already has a litter patrol. Police pick up litter off the streets in public areas and make sure it is thrown away. Ordinances are another way the mayor is looking to keep the city clean. He said he wants to raise the minimum fine for littering from $250 to $500.
The city also plans on enforcing ordinances that are already in place. To Heigl, this all falls back to the city putting its best foot forward. He believes the future is promising for Sylacauga if city officials can accomplish these feats.
“There is a bright future for our city,” said Heigl. “All working together we’ll be able to appreciate our qualities of life that will bring growth to our Marble City.”
Jeremy Law for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.