Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Center of the Shoals?

The center of the Shoals is hardly the center of the Universe. It’s mainly land-bound and seemingly has little to offer in the way of attractions; however, it will soon offer a new tourist magnet—a sign proclaiming Sheffield the the center of the Shoals. This sign will be in addition to the newly placed refurbished neon marvel that now greets the public on Second Street.

We’ve received some comments on the City of Sheffield spending 12.5K on such a sign for Riverfront Park. Nevertheless, the money for the sign came from a grant and could be spent in only certain ways. Sheffield would have been remiss not to have taken it.

Now, back to what was once called urban renewal. Many in Sheffield (think Steve Wiggins) have labored long and hard to see Sheffield become all it can be. Has the once second largest Shoals town come even close? We would hardly think so.

We may not totally adhere to the expression “Build it and they will come,” but we have no doubt some sprucing up of many of Sheffield’s tired old storefronts would attract new business. Yet many property owners seem to think it better to let a building rot than rent it for less than what it would bring if it were up to snuff and sat in the center of downtown Florence--another group for whom logic is a lost cause? C’mon, Ian, get tough on ‘em. It’s the only way they’ll ever behave.

And while we’re at it... Whoever may soon represent Sheffield in the newly configured state districts should be MADE to fight for an overpass at the Montgomery Avenue rail crossing. That should be the number one priority, and if not accomplished, the citizens should elect someone who can. If someone can convince Gov. Bentley to fund the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, someone can influence Bentley and the DOT to fund the overpass; it’s as simple as that.



  1. From what I've been told, funding for an overpass was there in the 1950's, but the Mayor of Sheffield at the time didn't think an over pass was needed and the city turned it down. I lived in Sheffield for around 3 yrs. 90% of my neighborhood turned into section 8 housing, so I moved.

  2. Sheffield has come a long way and has a long way to go. There are ways to force owners of run down property to at least get it back to operating conditions.