City gets extra week to prepare for TEAM Alabama visit

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 1, 2002

Messenger Publisher

Editor’s note: This is the final part of a series of the "Communities of Excellence" site visits.

Thanks to a change in plans, Troy leaders have another week to prepare for a site visit by the Alabama governor.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Marsha Gaylard, president of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, said Tuesday that a scheduling conflict has forced Gov. Don Siegelman to postpone his "site visit" to Troy. Originally scheduled for Friday, the visit has been rescheduled for Thursday, May 9.

"I was breathing a sigh of relief," Gaylard said of the change in plans. "This just gives us more time to get ready."

The site visit is part of Siegelman’s "Communities of Excellence" initiative. The program, organized in conjunction with TEAM Alabama, is designed to help communities throughout the region prepare for the location of a $1 billion Hyundai assembly plant in Hope Hull. Communities such as Troy, which is less than 45 minutes away from the site; Selma; Greenville; Prattville; Clanton and others are hoping to become home to the suppliers and vendors expected to move to Alabama because of the plant.

During the site visits, the governor and representatives of TEAM Alabama will make an assessment of each community’s assets. That information will be used to match suppliers’ needs with communities’ strengths during the site selection process.

"They’re not going to direct (the prospects)" to any particular community, Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford has said.

And since Troy and Pike County want to make a strong first impression, Gaylard said officials will take advantage of the extra time to work on areas such as right of way maintenance and beautification.

During a preliminary ride through the city late last week, Lunsford and Gaylard

began making an inventory of sites that need attention – from public to private.

"I really hope our businesses (and residents) will take hold and do something to clean up" their property, Gaylard said. Citing areas such as unkempt yards; overgrown shrubbery and sidewalks; and litter, Gaylard said individuals can play a major role in economic development efforts simply by cleaning up.

"We want to make a good first impression," she said.