Word about Escambia is spreading

Published 4:10 am Wednesday, November 20, 2002

By By BILL CRIST – Publisher
Once again our hometown of Brewton has received statewide, if not national, recognition. The most recent exposure came in this month's edition of Business Alabama, a magazine that focuses on developments in the business climate that will impact our state.
The story about Brewton was really one about Escambia, Baldwin and Mobile counties, and the unique features each is developing to retain existing businesses as well as attract new ones. And while we are certainly smaller than our neighbors to the southwest are, our contribution to the area's economy is considerable. From timber to petroleum, the story touched on several positive aspects of our local economy.
T.R. Miller Mill Company, the Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce, Jefferson Davis Community College and the Center for Telecommunications Technology on its campus were all featured in the story, and representatives from each were interviewed. Not surprisingly, each had positive things to say not only about how we got to the point we have, but also about the possibilities our area presents to prospective industries.
With the apparent change in leadership coming to Montgomery, it's going to be important for those same business leaders to take their message to our new governor-elect. His support is going to be vital for our area's continued growth as we seek sources of funding for flood control in our downtown area and the four-laning of Highway 31 between Brewton and Interstate 65. Both are going to be vital as we work to lure new businesses and industries into the Brewton area.
According to several of his supporters, Governor-elect Bob Riley has indicated that he is familiar with our city's needs and will include them on his five-year plan, once he takes office in January. That is good news for Brewton, but it is a promise that our city leaders need to remind Riley that he made. If past history is any indication, our mayor and others will not be bashful in making their wishes known. A lot of groundwork has been laid on the projects and it's going to be vital that the new administration quickly gets up to speed and moves them ahead on the calendar.
The magazine story also went to great lengths describing the investments this area has made in education and technology. According to Byron Dunn, director at the Center for Telecommunications Technology, his facility is all about economic development. He said the center is trying to turn the area into a hi-tech corridor between Mobile and Pensacola.
The article pointed out several assets that residents here have known about all along. It was another example of what an amazing set of resources we have in place, many which are normally found only in larger counties.
While there is still much work to be done in the area, Brewton is well positioned to attract new businesses and industries. Publicity like that we received this past week in Business Alabama can only help to seal our reputation as a progressive, forward thinking area.
be contacted via email at bill.crist@brewtonstandard.com

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