Important visitors take tour

Published 4:25 pm Wednesday, May 26, 2004

By Staff
In State Speaker of the House Seth Hammett and Representative Skippy White, Brewton hosted some important visitors this week. Important not only because of who they are, but also because of what they can do for the city.
In Brewton and East Brewton, many things are right. But there are also many problems, like there are in any town or city. In fixing those problems, or enhancing areas we need to enhance, it helps to have friends in high places who know what we need done, not just because they've been told, but because they've seen things with their own eyes.
The Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce understands this. That's why the organization coordinated and hosted Monday's visit. While here, Hammett and White were given tours of Citation Brewton and T.R. Miller Mill Company, two of our largest employers.
The tours gave Hammett and White a glimpse of what makes our area tick. They saw two progressive companies that employ hundreds of hardworking men and women between them. They also saw companies that play an active role in the communities around them.
The two businesses have something else in common, other than being cornerstones of our local economy. They are also among the businesses that are impacted when Brewton suffers a flood.
Future flood mitigation efforts were among the things the Chamber's governmental affairs committee wanted to discuss with Hammett and White.
Hammett expressed during his meeting with the committee that he couldn't believe a levee had never been built here, given the problems we've had with water leaving the banks of Murder and Burnt Corn Creeks.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is putting the finishing touches on plans for a levee designed to help with Brewton's flooding concerns, but once the plans are completed, there will still be the matter of finding money to actually build what they call for.
Hammett and White expressed a desire to help. This is no doubt due to the fact that as people who represent us in the Legislature, they know it's their job to do all they can to help. But it certainly doesn't hurt that they got a chance to come here and see firsthand the places and people who'll benefit from whatever they can do for us.
While here, Hammett also expressed a desire to help in other areas. He said, for instance, that if he could be of any assistance in luring new industry, he'd be there.
Building and maintaining relationships with people like Hammett and White is one of the more important functions our Chamber and its members can serve. In this instance, the simple act of playing host to these men may be part of a process that greatly helps Brewton and East Brewton down the line.