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Industrial park gains area backing and momentum

By By JOHN DILMORE JR. Publisher
Still more cities, counties and economic development entities have lent their support to a proposed regional industrial park to be located off of Hwy. 41, just on the Conecuh County side of the I-65 interchange.
Brewton's Yank Lovelace, who is spearheading the project, said that he continues to find those to whom he presents the idea receptive.
"I haven't gotten anything other than positive reaction," Lovelace said.
The Cities of East Brewton, Monroeville and Flomaton, as well as Monroe County, have added their names to the list of entities throwing vocal and financial backing behind the project, which is still in its early phases.
Brewton, the Brewton Development Authority and Escambia County were already on record in support of moving forward with the studies needed to bring the proposed industrial park closer to reality.
So were the cities of Evergreen, Castleberry, Conecuh County and the Conecuh County Development Authority.
Each of these entities have contributed support and some amount of money.
The financial contributions of each are funding the second phase of feasibility studies needed to validate the park's proposed site.
The contributions do not, however, bind anyone or anyplace to the project as it moves ahead.
Participation continues on a voluntary basis.
The City of Pollard has lent vocal support to the project, but no cash.
Lovelace recently presented the project to the Atmore Industrial Development Board, but that body has taken no action on the matter.
In addition to getting backing from new city and county officials, the planned park has also gotten a new name.
Originally called the Shotgun Hill Industrial Park, for the area in which it's planned, it is now being referred to as the Tri-County Regional Industrial Park, reflecting the three counties it's geared toward serving -- Escambia, Conecuh and Monroe.
The name is also reflective of the regional concept driving the park's creation.
The idea is for all areas involved to work together in developing a site attractive to a large industry, which would then create job opportunities for the entire region.
The immediate access to I-65 the site would provide is seen as the biggest factor in luring such an industry.