By Katie Bohannon, News Editor
After overcoming the difficulties of 2020, Hokes Bluff Mayor Scott Reeves shared the city’s progress and unifying spirit moving into the new year.
“Being a small-town mayor, your goal is always to have a sustained local economy that will support the needs of a city,” said Reeves.
Reeves compared Hokes Bluff with larger municipalities, sharing that small towns often experience a complicated process when competing to recruit business. Over the last four years, Hokes Bluff achieved its goal of filling its shopping center. Only one unit remains open at this time, and it is currently under contract.
2020 brought its challenges for Hokes Bluff, but the city leapt over each hurdle. Governor Kay Ivey’s stay-at-home mandate proved somewhat positive for the local economy, with citizens turning to Hokes Bluff businesses which resulted in an uptick in revenue. While some businesses throughout the city did experience a decrease in earnings, Reeves remains hopeful they will recover and get back on their feet.
Seven empty buildings were filled, with Huddle House, Southeast Auto Parts, Nail Salon and Tanning and The Hemp Source providing a boost to the city’s shopping center and increasing traffic.
Reeves noted that his mindset moving forward into 2021 is to remain stable in Hokes Bluff’s local economy and continue educating citizens on the importance of shopping and buying local. The city has several paving projects scheduled to consider, including the four-lane being resurfaced. Additional plans are in place to help grow the community and enhance its visibility, with a new fire apparatus nearing completion in March from Pierce Manufacturing. Beginning in the summer of 2021, Hokes Bluff will construct a new elementary school. The old school’s demolition will take place with additional traffic congestion in the area.
“Our long-term goal is to provide our citizens with a safe environment to live, work and play,” said Reeves. “We strive to sustain them with the best public safety personnel and equipment to keep our community safe. It is our privilege to serve the best folks in all of Etowah County. Our hometown family setting is a cut above the rest. Thank you to every citizen that makes Hokes Bluff a special place to live and call home.”