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EDA develops long-term plans

Published 11:28am Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Lake Martin Area Economic Development Alliance, along with the help of multiple community members, is working to develop a long-term plan to develop the Lake Martin region.

According to EDA Director Don McClellan, the last strategic plan developed for the area was completed in 2000.

“This time we’re partnering with the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, and they are helping us facilitate this planning process,” McClellan said.

McClellan said EDA members and other involved small business owners, government officials and citizens comprise three committees: recruitment, retention and renewal.

Each committee met Thursday with the EDPA and discussed various short-term and long-term goals for each group. Sandra Fuller with the EDA said each group will be meeting every two weeks with the entire group gathering once a month.

“We should have a plan completed and rolled out by April,” Fuller said. “Once the EDPA captures all the information, they’re going to put together something that helps to better define our short-term and long-term goals and what it’s going to take to get from Point A to Point B.”

McClellan said in every group, the EDA strived to have a representative from Alexander City, Tallapoosa County, Dadeville and Coosa County.

In the recruitment group meeting, McClellan said discussion centered on site development, spec buildings, small business development, financing and marketing.

The recruitment group divided into subcommittees in order to investigate each of those aspects.

“We want to see that we have best practices in all those (sub) committees,” McClellan said. “That will grow itself as we get further along in the committees.”

Fuller, who participated in the retention committee meeting, said the group will focus on making sure existing industries and businesses remain in the area and that the EDA shows appreciation to the companies for locating their businesses in the area.

“We know how important it is we make (our current industries) successful,” Fuller said.

McClellan said he hopes the plan currently being developed matches or exceeds the success of the plan created in 2000.

“It’s amazing what we’ve accomplished since then –– to have three industrial parks we’ve done since that period, then to attract 15 new companies and over 2,500 new jobs –– that’s pretty good in 10 years,” McClellan said. “We’ve been successful, but we want to be more successful in the future. (A strategic plan is) the only way to judge that on a yearly basis.”

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