Industrial park a project for all Morgan County
Let's not make Decatur the heavy in sorting out how to finance the proposed 1,800-acre industrial park between Hartselle and Falkville on Interstate 65.
Decatur city officials have not said they won't help with the financing. They haven't even suggested they won't help. But some of them do question the size of Decatur's financial commitment to the project.
Using financing for Mallard Fox Creek Industrial Park as a model for the proposed park makes sense. Every town and city, along with the County Commission, should participate.
But let's not scowl at Decatur for wanting to change the financing formula and create one that better reflects the park's location.
This is an opportunity for the County Commission to show leadership and help set up a financing formula that reflects how the county has changed over the past 20 years.
One change is the East Morgan Economic Development Board. It wasn't around when Mallard Fox began and was formed because some residents of the eastern part of the county thought the Morgan County Economic Development Association favored the Decatur area.
The board receives a significant amount of tax money each year and Chairman George Crawford supports the idea of his group helping finance the proposed park.
Perhaps the board may contribute $200,000 and cut Decatur's annual assessment from $400,000 to $200,000.
Decatur must participate because the park will benefit the entire county and surrounding counties. Thus the debate shouldn't be if Decatur will participate but by how much.