30 minutes with Mayor McCamy

Scottsboro City Mayor Jim McCamy stated the paving in Scottsboro is going well, and he is pleased with the results so far. Pending good weather, and according to the paving contractor, Garland Ferry’s resurfacing completion should be well under way starting early this week.The Mayor also recently had a meeting with several local builders and contractors. Also present were Scottsboro WSG, Scottsboro Power Board and the Scottsboro Fire Department. These bodies met in hopes of opening up the dialogue to help identify concerns and how to assist and improve current building codes and how they may be modified to allow for more homes to be built in Scottsboro, addressing the housing crisis currently affecting the area. According to the Mayor, as of last Tuesday, there were 55 homes for sale in all of Jackson County, with only 21 in Scottsboro.
“That is a real challenge for us here in the city and the county,” the Mayor stated. “Hopefully things will start to turn around with the price of building materials, which has impacted it. We have plenty of lots to build on; we just don’t have any houses on them.”

The demolitions the city undertook with a grant through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) are now complete. The grant allowed the city to remove blighted or condemned structures. Currently, the Street Department has been filling the sites, leveling them and sowing grass to complete the projects and is midway through completion. The Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments (TARCOG) and ADECA were recently in town to review the projects at this stage, and the Mayor stated they were pleased with what they saw.
Scottsboro was also recently awarded a Brownfield Grant through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The 100% grant allows the City to select several locations in Scottsboro, and possibly the county, for Phase I and Phase II environmental assessments. Should the EPA find any locations of concern, the city will be notified if future developments on the site will be an issue and will need a clean-up before development. The Mayor also stated that while the grant does not fund the clean-up, there is a supplemental grant the city can apply for that will.

“Just outside the airport, the city owns the property now that used to be the Goldkist Hatchery. That’s one of the sites that will be tested to ascertain if there is anything hazardous that may cause a problem in receiving federal money toward the development. This grant will allow us to identify and inspect the sites and get Phase I and Phase II done, so if anyone in the future wants to develop there, this will already be completed, and they won’t have to pay for it,” the Mayor stated. “That’s huge, especially when you consider the environmental issues you have to deal with. It could be petroleum, it could be chemicals, it could be anything. But in those certain sites, we can already have those identified with a plan to clean it up and then come back later and finish it.”

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) began their annual aquatic weed management program on June 1st of this year. During the TVA Aquatic Plant Management Briefing and Tour, Mayor McCamy, along with Senator Steve Livingston, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Blankenship, Senator Clay Scofield and Guntersville City Mayor Leigh Dollar were invited by TVA to Guntersville to see some of the invasive aquatic weeds they are currently managing. The Mayor was able to see, firsthand, the effects the invasive species are having on the waterways. One example he provided was pulling up to an island on the water and seeing Colocasia/Wild Taro (elephant ears) growing in abundance in the middle of the lake.
“Folks don’t think about it,” the Mayor stated, “but when they dump their aquariums in the water, when the boaters go from one lake to another, they’ve got debris on their trailers. There are several invasive species that are not native that they’re [TVA] having to deal with now.”

The TVA is equipped with a harvester that utilizes blades underwater that cut the plants and send them up a chain-driven ramp into the container onboard to be disposed of. This process not only helps maintain aquatic weeds, but it also helps manage the channels and lanes, creating more habitat and better fishing. To learn more about how you can help prevent the introduction of invasive species into your favorite fishing spot, or someone else’s, visit tva.com/environment/environmental-stewardship/angler’s-aquatic-plant-id/how-tva-manages-aquatic-plants.
The Mayor also recently attended the All-County Academic Banquet, recognizing the achievements of the top 5% Scottsboro High and Jackson County Schools seniors graduating this year.
“We’ve got a lot of students in the city and the county that we need to be proud of. Those students that were recognized at the banquet are stellar, and it was very impressive.”
Regarding the Publix, White Development is still on track, and they hope to be moving dirt by the end of June.

 

by Martha Smith

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