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Good News Conecuh

Finally Conecuh gets to sit in the driver’s seat for a while.

Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Jeff Taylor, our Economic Developer, Conecuh has a reason to smile and be optimistic on the heels of its latest purchase.

A little over a year ago the commission body agreed to enroll outside help to promote Conecuh and hopefully get something positive working for us. As luck would have it we actually had two people qualify for the job and, rather than force the county to play pick one, both of them agreed to work for the county for the salary of one.

As time progressed one of these gentlemen decided they needed to practice the “Free Willie” project and left our county leaving us with Mr. Jeff Taylor, a resident of Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Hopkinsville Kentucky, where the heck is that? Well, almost anyone that’s been in the Army is aware of Hopkinsville. That’s one of the closest towns to a military base called Fort Campbell.

Mr. Taylor was an Economic Development Project Manager with the Tennessee Valley Authority, a position from which he retired. Mr. Taylor was also a public servant representing the people of Kentucky while serving as the state representative for District 4. Fortunately for us, he did not give up on the Economic Development part of his life; he merely made it a part-time position.

Talking with Mr. Taylor about the commission’s decision to purchase the old Louisiana Pacific property on Hwy. 29 just outside of Evergreen, on what is locally known as the Owassa Road, he is quick to point out that the credit for this coup should go to the Commissioner’s themselves.

Just to tell you what a fantastic buy and boon to our county let me say this, where are you going to purchase 123 acres of already developed land for the price of $10.00? I wouldn’t mind having a person capable of negotiating a deal like that do some land purchasing for me.

Mr. Taylor said he fell back on his experience noting that for a neighborhood, community, town or city to be able to compete/grow in the business world they needed something to use as a drawing card and, unfortunately, Conecuh, up to this point, had nothing. With this purchase businesses have the opportunity of a life time to move to Conecuh, establish themselves and set up production plants.

This property sits beside a railroad track, has access to the Interstate within a few miles, ability to make it to a port city and, to top it off, there is a fully modern airport readily available. Sounds like an industrial dream just waiting to come to life for some manufacturer waiting and watching for a “good” deal.

Jeff knows this has just put a feather in the cap of Conecuh. He told me he’s already talking with different production companies about them moving here. With that much land it’s open to the imagination just how much industry can be fit into this otherwise unused land.

Not one to sit on his laurels, Jeff is already talking to several different companies about our new found assets and has actually had some travel here to look at the available resources.

While speaking to Jeff he told me he was attempting to recruit quality companies with quality pay. Can you imagine Conecuh County with a production business that, without argument, starts employees at a salary above minimum wage?

See if you can visualize this, Hwy. 29 (the Owassa Road) is suddenly transformed to a 4 lane road to accommodate the added volume of workers traffic and to handle the steady stream of big trucks moving a product produced locally to distributors around the world. What would that do to improve our lot in life?

Everyone seems to think Conecuh has a glut of money due to the oil wells here. Well wake up from your dream. Published on a wall in the commission meeting room you will see the most current oil figures. After looking at them follow those figures back to earlier dates. You’ll notice how that bottom line number drops, drops and drops on a regular trend. One should be able to pick up on the fact that our big time oil money is becoming a thing of the past. It’s not gone but it’s certainly different from what it started out to be.

This oil money put Conecuh in a position whereby Conecuh could pretty much write its own ticket and purchase almost anything it wanted or needed. This money is what has been used to keep our roads in as good a shape as they are. I constantly hear residents complaining about “their” road. Well, if we don’t get something in here to supplement that oil money there’s gonna be a lot more road condition complaints start up.

Praise where praise is due. Thank you Mr. Taylor for your outstanding efforts on the behalf of Conecuh County. This may well be the catalyst that fires us up on our way to becoming another viable, beautiful, wonderful place to work and live.