By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
Rainbow City has spent the last year growing.
The city has completed several repaving projects. Lakewood Road, Christopher Street, Garmon Drive, Hill Street, Ann Street, McEntyre Road, the Doughboy Road and Cox Street area, the Hidden Meadows area, Palace Avenue and Rainbow Cove have all been repaved in the last year.
Rainbow City has added 20 new businesses this year. It acquired several new restaurants, including Union Jack Cafe, Ray’s BBQ, Krystal Kwik and Frios Gourmet Pops. Several new medical offices are now located in Rainbow City, including Northeast Orthopedic Center, Sparks Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Clinic 5 Addiction Recovery, Drayer Physical Therapy Institute, The Orthopedic Center and ENM, PC, an endocrinology office. Additional new Rainbow City businesses include Precision Welding and Fabrication, Cricket Wireless, ZLA Solutions, Tasty Haze Vape Shop, Renfroe Auto Repair, Center Stage Promotions, Best Friends Pet Salon, Dirt Cheap, Pampered Paws Grooming Salon and Primemax Mortgage Group.
Rainbow City has been holding its annual AlabamaChocolate Festival for over a decade. The event has grown each year.
Last year, Rainbow City’s 11th Annual Alabama Chocolate Festival was a hit with country singer and songwriter Pam Tillis headlining the show. Rainbow City Mayor Terry John Calhoun estimates that 8,000 to 10,000 people attended.
The free festival is always a hit, with live music, crafts and lots of sweet treats. The festival hosts a Chocolate Taste-Off with prizes for the cash winner. Before the festivities began last year, a city-wide treasure hunt was held. Carnival rides are available for an additional fee.
“It’s just a family fun day,” said Calhoun.
Rainbow City will announce the 12th annual Chocolate Festival’s lineup on March 1.
The city has a new Police Chief, Jonathon Horton. Shortly after Horton started, he was faced with the end of the city’s animal control contract. With the contract too expensive to renew and no other area shelter having the capacity to take on the city’s animal control, Rainbow City began to look at building its own animal shelter. The new Rainbow City Animal Shelter will be 10,000 square feet and have the capacity to hold 110 to 120 animals. The city plans to finish the project by the end of May.
Rainbow City has started a recycling program in the last year, picking up cardboard and plastic items.
“People have really been using it,” said Calhoun. “We’ve been hauling a trailer a day out.”
The city’s Recreation Department purchased a bucket truck, which Calhoun says will be us ful with decorating. The truck can also be used by the fire department when needed.
Last year, the city’s utilities board broke ground on a new waste water treatment plant, which is scheduled to be completed this year.
The new system will be efficient, have a small carbon footprint, be cost effective and will open the city up for more growth.
In the last year several businesses have moved into Deerfoot Industrial Park No. 2 on Lumley Road. The city has since acquired an additional lot across from the industrial park.
“I think the city’s growing,” said Calhoun. “It’s improving a lot. You know, the economy’s been down for awhile, but I feel like we’re coming back, and I feel like Rainbow City is positioned to really step up in growth.”