By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
On Wednesday, February 7, City of Attalla Mayor Larry Means spoke to members of the Gadsden Civitans Club. Means discussed the ongoing projects to improve Attalla, as well as his work as chairman of the Eto-wah County Industrial Development Authority.
When Means became mayor after working in the state senate for 12 years, he faced the problem of Attalla’s sewer system. He was forced to borrow money right off the bat to fix the problem. The project is now nearing completion.
Means discussed some of the grants Attalla has received, including a $450,000 grant for the sewer system, a $485,000 grant for paving, another $375,000 grant for paving, a $935,000 grant for sewer rehab, a $450,000 grant for government equipment, a $350,000 grant for job development and more.
“The thing with grants is that if you don’t apply, you don’t get them,” said Means. “And we apply.”
Means commended the Attalla Police Department for its hard work and mentioned that crime in the city is down about 25 percent. Means also praised the Attalla school system, school board and superintendent.
“We work really good with superintendent and the school board,” said Means. “We have not had one bit of problem.”
Means mentioned the new Etowah Middle School, which he said unfortunately creates more traffic on Hwy. 77. Means said that aleviating the traffic flow issues on Hwy. 77 is his “top project right now.” He said that he had recently met with State Repesentative Craig Ford to discuss the issue and possible solutions.
Means also spoke about the Etowah County Commission’s ongoing industrial megasite project located at Little Canoe Creek. Means said that the county commission approached the City of Attalla about managing the site’s sewer, but that Attalla was unable to offer the services. Means disagrees that the megasite is prepared enough to attract a buyer.
“It’s not going to be ready for industry until they have infrastucture in place,” said Means. “I’m not trying to be negative. If they do good, we all get jobs here. I just feel like they are not ready for what they say they’re ready for.”
Means said that the success of the megasite also rests on the amount of incentives the county can offer.
“I hope they succeed, but they are a long way from ready,” said Means.