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By Staff
Caretakers deserve praise, too
Editor:
There is not a shadow of a doubt, Nancy Regan truly loved her husband, Ronald, with a dedication that few of us can ever realize nor hope to experience. But I can personally attest to one mortal who exceedingly and exceptionally surpassed this love exhibited by Nancy Regan. That person was my mother!
My dad died in 1981 of Alzheimer's at age 80. My mother personally attended his every need for 10 years (the last 3 – 4 of which were bed ridden) with only the limited help of my sister, who had to work, and her two young children. My mother did this of necessity and through a dedication of love few of us will ever experience, much less be able to express. Nancy Regan is truly to be commended for her dedication to her husband but she had the unlimited physical and fiscal resources afforded a previous President of the United States, of which my mother had none. All my mother had was unsurpassed devotion and love.
Mom is now with dad where their love will never end.
James L. Nix
Hartselle
Economic plan would help city
Editor:
Hartselle and Morgan County voters go to the polls June 29 to complete primary elections and set the slate of candidates for the general election in November. With most candidates already determined, this voter turnout is likely to be even less than in May, which was deplorable by light. It is sad that apathy of voters in our nation permits a minority of eligible voters to determine our destiny.
County and Hartselle voters, please take note. Appearing on the June 29 runoff ballot is an amendment critical to future economic development in this region of North Alabama. Although it pertains to commercial development within Hartselle only, regional benefits are potentially enormous when considering follow-on development most likely to occur throughout the area, particularly along the interstate corridor.
Individuals and neighboring municipalities will benefit, as will owners who choose to offer property for commercial or industrial development. Is there expressed opposition? Of course, but when examining all the facts and objectively weighing the benefits, logic and common sense dictate passage.
Please educate yourselves on this legislation before you vote and consider the following.
Hartselle is located less than three miles from the geographical center of Morgan County within relatively easy access for all Morgan County residents. Given a broad selection of shopping opportunities, Hartselle would be the logical shopping destination with time and ease of travel being major considerations. The problem is that huge market gaps exist limiting shopping opportunities. Therefore, area shoppers must travel to Decatur, Cullman, Huntsville, etc. for even many basic items when it would be much simpler to go to Hartselle.
Hartselle is well known as a bedroom community, highly regarded for its schools and hometown environment. Hence residential development has continued to show exceptional growth while commercial development has lagged significantly.
This has resulted in a critical imbalance. About 60 percent of the city's revenue comes from sales tax, with the next closest source, privilege licenses, contributing less that 8 percent. Residential development (property tax) does not pay its way for city services. When residents, out of necessity, must shop outside of the city, spending their dollars elsewhere, this already bad situation is worsened.
It is important to note that Morgan County and six surrounding counties experienced 22 percent of the state's total growth between 1990 and 2000. This places Hartselle in one of Alabama's fastest growing regions. The I-65 Corridor Study in 2002 emphasized the enormous potential of the 12-mile stretch of I-65 between Priceville and Falkville.
Recruitment of new retail business today is highly competitive and approval of this amendment will facilitate Hartselle's efforts to implement development of a significant portion of the study-targeted area.
With this occurring, follow-on development of the entire 12-mile interstate corridor seems highly probable.
County and Hartselle voters: Hartselle has the opportunity to lead major development along this corridor and the surrounding area. If successful in accomplishing this, benefits to residents will be substantial.
Vote "Yes" on the amendment on June 29 and give our entire area a sporting chance to reach its economic development potential.
Robert C. Francis
Chairman
Hartselle Development Board
Realtors group opposes resolution
On June 29 voters in Morgan County and Hartselle and Limestone County and Athens will vote on a proposed constitutional amendment allowing the cities of Hartselle and Athens to acquire, develop, own, operate, lease, and finance certain commercial or retail projects within their jurisdictions. The financing portion would be through "Star Bonds" that are not the usual bonds currently issued by cities.
This financing has significant benefits if used for infrastructure. This would include engineering studies, roads, electric, water, sewer, gas, drainage, curbs and similar things. However, cities would not be limited to infrastructure use as currently proposed in the amendment, which is to be voted on.
The Board of Directors of the Morgan County Association of Realtors has spent considerable time, effort, and resources studying this legislation and its impact on the area. We have voiced our concerns with a resolution addressing these concerns and by trying to change the language of the legislation prior to its passage. Unfortunately, we did not have sufficient time to do this.
As a result, the language and provisions of the proposed constitutional amendment are still a major concern of our Board of Directors and leave many unanswered questions and potential procedural difficulties.
Therefore, we must express our opposition to the proposed amendment as currently written and hope if defeated, legislation that addresses these issues could be drafted.
Steve Dean, President
Morgan County Association of Realtors

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