Mitchell announces new industry

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 22, 2000

Staff Writer

State Sen. Wendell Mitchell announced Tuesday that Pike County is being considered for a major distribution center that would be located in Brundidge.

The five-term senator from Luverne said some economic packages that will be introduced during the upcoming special legislative session could have an impact on the project.

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He said three economic development-related bills, along with 14 education appropriation bills are likely to be introduced during the session that opens on Monday.

According to Mitchell, there is a "written commitment" the company will build in Pike County if certain things fall into place and it will be "a done deal."

During his speech before the Troy Rotary Club, Mitchell said those issues will have to take a back burner to the more pressing one of drawing districts for the state’s seven Congressional seats.

"I don’t think there’s going to be much change," Mitchell said of the district lines for Congress. "I don’t see how our district could change a lot."

The plan was scheduled to be unveiled last night.

District lines for the State Board of Education will also be addressed during the special session.

Regarding his district, which was redrawn during a special session earlier this summer, Mitchell said he is "about an eight" on a scale of one to 10 as far as being pleased is concerned.

He was personally opposed to picking up more of Elmore County and would rather have had his district encompass rural parts of Montgomery County since a majority of Senate District 30 is rural.

Mitchell also touched on ethics reform legislation being pushed by Gov. Don Siegelman.

"The Legislature is not unlike the Rotary Club…one apple can spoil the barrel in the eye of the public."

His suggestion is to "reform the people themselves," rather than focusing on creating new legislation.

Regarding the upcoming election year, Mitchell said the top issues in the gubernatorial race are likely to be tax reform, constitutional reform, education and economic development ­ the latter two almost always being part of campaign promises.

"Tax reform is probably going to be on the front shelf," Mitchell said.

He wants to look at balancing, rather than increasing taxes.

Constitutional reform, he said, is a "difficult issue" that needs to be tackled.

The state is "archaic" in one sense ­ having people in one area vote on issues that impact another area, but are on the statewide ballot, Mitchell said.

"There are things that need to be done to the Constitution."

Touching on education, Mitchell said leaders realize that one topic has an impact on such things as economic development.

"Unless you have good education, you can’t expect the benefits that reap from that," Mitchell said, adding many companies ask about educational facilities when looking at a particular area.