30 minutes with Mayor McCamy

Scottsboro City Mayor Jim McCamy recently expressed his concern over the workforce issues the nation, and Scottsboro, are currently encountering. The mayor was recently at a local restaurant and noticed a modified work schedule posted outside the establishment, informing the customers of their need to close on certain days and at new hours, due to the lack of an optimum number of employees needed to carry out a day’s business serving the public’s needs. Scottsboro also recently held a job fair that did not yield good results as far as people coming in off the street, seeking a place of employment.“If somebody wants to work here,” the mayor stated, “they can find a job. There’s no question. Anybody who wants a job can get one, easily.”

The pandemic and the resulting compensations from the government have had a significant impact on the work force locally and throughout America. The mayor remarked that there are now local Scottsboro or Jackson County businesses who have taken to advertising on Huntsville TV stations, seeking employees. This new strategy is a step most local businesses have never had to take before, but the need for more workforce is that extreme. In regards to just the above-mentioned restaurants, it impacts the owners, the servers, the customers and the image of Scottsboro. Local papers, like this one, are full of help-wanted ads in the classifieds section.

Garland Ferry Road was also slated to be closed to through-traffic starting on the Monday of this week. This will allow Scottsboro Water, Sewer & Gas (WSG) to make repairs and necessary cuts, giving it a chance to settle and take traffic before it’s slated to be paved within the next few weeks. Garland is scheduled to be closed from Monday through Friday. Ahead of this, King Street has already begun paving, and after WSG completes their part, the street will be ready for striping. Quickly following, the paving package for College, Kyle, Bynum and Garland will begin. In this order, the City will be paving College Street from Broad to Kyle; Kyle Street from Martin to Charlotte; Bynum Street from Garland to Laurel. Lastly, Garland will be paved.

“By the time this is done, we will have already been in the process of putting together the next package of streets that we need to look at to be resurfaced. In our initial review, we’ve already identified the streets that need it the most based on condition and traffic. We ask for everybody’s patience in the next month or so while all this is in process. It will be worth it once it’s done.”

The paving packages are a new step in saving on expenses and time. By surveying streets and determining their resurfacing needs and surveying nearby or adjacent streets, paving can be completed at the same time. This, in turn, allows the City’s contractors to unload their equipment in one location without having to move and re-base multiple times, saving on time and on transport and redeployment fees.

“We can’t do that everywhere, because we have a lot of streets to resurface, and they’re all over town, so we’ll do it when we can,” the mayor stated.
The Shops of Scottsboro development that will house Publix and other businesses is still well on schedule. According to White Development, everything is on schedule for construction and with their prospective clients. White Development currently has several leases and letters of intent in hand. The development will be utilizing Amendment 772, allowing the City to designate a certain percentage of the sales tax earned from the sales accrued from the development within an agreed-upon amount of time, or until the balance is paid in full, whichever comes first. Because this will require the use of public funds, a public hearing must be held, wherein the public is represented. This procedure is a standard process and an entailment with Amendment 772. The meeting is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, April 28th.

In regards to a meeting, the amendment states the following: “(1) The action proposed to be taken by the county or municipality is approved at a public meeting of the governing body of the county or municipality, as the case may be, by a resolution containing a determination by the governing body that the expenditure of public funds for the purpose specified will serve a valid and sufficient public purpose, notwithstanding any incidental benefit accruing to any private entity or entities.”

The mayor stated he is happy to see the clean up completed at the intersection of North Houston and Maple. The corner has been fill-leveled and covered and looks vastly improved. The City partnered with the Jackson County Historical Association for grading and completion of the corner lot.

The City is also looking at utilizing the concrete slab that is left from the old Scottsboro Wholesale building once that area has also been cleaned and covered. The City will also be working with some of the North Houston community to see what they would like to be placed there. Within the immediate area, there is a playground, a storm shelter and the Ben Sanford Boys and Girls Club.
The mayor stated, “There’s a pretty good community-based option that we’re going to be working with the Boys and Girls Club on.”

The spring/summer/fall bass tournament schedule has been set for some time and is moving along well. Several large tournaments have already committed to coming to Scottsboro, and several more plan to use Scottsboro for their tournament as well.

“One of the things the Chamber [Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce] has started doing is providing tournament participants a questionnaire to collect data and comments to get an idea of an accurate figure on what the real economic impact is for Scottsboro,” the mayor stated. “It is significant, but they’re working to get a much more accurate picture of what it actually is.”

by Martha Smith

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