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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 9, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Hartselle should enlist pro in developing interstate site

Hartselle's City Council and mayor did the right thing in buying nearly 19 acres of prime commercial land at Alabama 36 and Interstate 65.

Now, let's hope these city officials don't yield to the carping of critics who said the city doesn't need to be in the real estate business.

The council and mayor bought choice land and have the wherewithal to bring the infrastructure that is missing and that kept the site undeveloped.

Mayor Dwight Tankersley said he thinks building could begin within 12 months. He says he's consulted major developers about the site.

Instead of feeling pressure to jump at the first prospects that show interest in the property, hopefully, city officials will be highly selective in the companies they allow to build.

Hartselle has the benefit of other communities in developing the site. Some have planned and developed interchange sites nicely while others created traffic nightmares. It would be a mistake to repeat those nightmares.

The city paid $1.9 million for the property that has 954 feet of frontage on I-65 and 737 feet on Alabama 36. This is Hartselle's best shot at getting something really nice for a good while. City administrators may wish to consider professional help in planning for the site rather than allowing growth to just happen.

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