Sunday, November 28, 2010

Road, Highway, Interstate, Whatever--We Need It!

Have you ever heard the recipe for mouthwatering gypsy chicken soup? Well...first you steal a chicken. No, we're not suggesting anyone steal anything. We are suggesting the Shoals area has to start somewhere in its quest for better jobs and a higher standard of living.

About three months ago, the TimesDaily published the results of a study showing the Shoals has the second lowest wages/standard of living in the state. This is nothing to be proud of. We realize that the lowest, second lowest, etc., will always belong to some area, but with the natural resources found in the Shoals, it should not belong to northwest Alabama.

After the study was published, there were numerous posts on the TD's forum concerning the problem. For every solution offered, at least one individual produced a rebuttal as to why it wouldn't work. Almost all the posters had valid points, proving that it's not just one thing holding the Shoals back.

We agree that the Shoals will never be the industrial power it once was. We also agree that simply a road, or roads, will not miraculously transform our community into a Detroit or Akron; however, we do think it's a place to start.

If funding were to be secured at this very moment, it would still be 10, 15, or even 20 years before such a connecting link was finished. The important thing is that it would be finished, it would bring some new industry...and that new industry would in turn bring other new industry.

In a little over a month, this state will have new representatives in both Washington and Montgomery. You don't have to be a paid lobbyist to lobby for something. We urge everyone who wants a better future for this area, for this area's next generation, to immediately begin lobbying for a connecting link to I-65.

If we can be as passionate about our area's economic future as we are about football, we'll be well on our way to that bright future everyone talks about, but no one does anything about.


Roads, roads, everywhere a road...well not quite. The State of Alabama is also still working on finishing the southern leg of Highway 133, aka Wilson Dam Road, in Colbert County. What's holding it up?

While we understand most property owners have now agreed to sell the required rights-of-way, there are still a few hold outs. These property owners do not live on these parcels of land, but purchased them for investment purposes; and there's certainly nothing wrong with wishing to make a profit on land sales. There is something wrong with beating the proverbial dead equine.

We recently talked with a gentleman who has several businesses, one of them "playing the stock market." He stated that anyone who deals in stocks on a regular basis and says they've never lost their shirt is telling a lie. We're sure these Colbert County property owners hoped to make a mint off these contested parcels; we're also sure they've made a nice profit off other land deals over the years--you win some, you lose some. These land owners now need to suck it up and sign on the dotted line. We doubt any of them are losing their shirt in this deal; they just aren't making a killing from this particular investment and now they're refusing to play nice.

When eminent domain condemns a homeplace, we feel for those affected. When it condemns land belonging to speculators who don't care about this area, we say more power to it.