Governor coming to Atmore
By By Robbie Byrd and Donald Wright, Staff Writers
A meeting between local business owners earlier this week exploded into a much bigger cause as business owners, civic organizations and even city officials are behind a push to clean up Atmore.
Mayor Howard Shell announced on Thursday that, as a continuing part of the "Communities of Excellence" tour, Governor Don Siegelman will make a stop in Atmore sometime in July.
While the date has not yet been set, officials with the Governors office assured Shell that they wold receive a five-day notice.
Siegelman notified Shell personally by telephone Wednesday night.
Mayor Howard Shell called for all residents of Atmore to get behind the project to help clean up Atmore. And not just for beauty's sake.
Siegelman will be touring the city along with top advisers, surveying the area for possible industry placement.
On Wednesday, members of the Atmore Chamber of Commerce and downtown business owners met to discuss ways they could help to clean up the downtown district of Atmore.
Once word got to City Hall, the program's focus shifted to a full city assault on trash.
The city took the first step in realizing its goal to clean up the city when it enacted the "no-nuisance" ordinance last week. This ordinance will help to eliminate abandoned cars and set new codes for how city buildings facing street fonts should be kept.
Shell said after attending many meetings on industrial growth in Montgomery, it became clear that cleanliness of a city was a huge factor in business recruitment.
While the project is still in the works, Shell hopes it will bring together the entire community in a concerted effort to clean up all of Atmore, not just the downtown area.
Local businesswoman Debbie Rowell and the newly formed committee's chairman said that, to get it done, all of Atmore must take action.
While hoping to garner support throughout the city for the project, Atmore Chamber of Commerce director Emilie Mims said the first step in cleaning up the city is downtown.
Mims said residents must be made aware that littering is a serious issue.
The committee divided the downtown area into four block with two business owners from each block assigned to head the efforts.
The four blocks included the west side of South Main Street, the east side of South Main Street, the west side of North Main Street and the east side of North Main Street. Each section was assigned to a chairperson to meet with the business owners of that block to discuss an action plan.
The committees would do a walk through to discuss area of opportunities and would meet again later to prioritize those opportunities and come up with a plan of action.
Block one would be the west side of South Main Street. Gwen Dorriety and Edith Beans would chair this block. The businesses on this block would include We Care Economy Shop, Escambia Drug Store, Radio Shack, The Strand Theater, Gerlach's, Carl's and the Tot Shop, New Your Life, The Beans Store, Wade Hartley's office, Grand Betty's, Hazel's Curl Country and Bateson's Furniture Annex.
Block two would include the east side of South Main Street. Janet Swift and Lucille King would chair this block. The businesses on this block would include First National Bank, Western Auto, Main Street Jewelers, Corner Cleaners, O'Farrell Pecan Company, Sutton's Restaurant and Rent To Own.
Block three would include the west side of North Main Street. Judy Pylate and Tracy Miller would chair this block. The businesses on this block would include Edward Jones and Company, James Wilson Christian Book Store, Maxwell, Haley, Castleberry Insurance and Real Estate, Barnett and Associates, Linda's Lane, Jasmine Place, Earle's Jewelers, The Wisteria, New York Fashions, C &N Antique Mall, David Mills Signs, Country Charms Gregg's Hair Studio and Elite Barber Shop.
Block four would include the east side of North Main Street. Joey Kelly and Kathy Hawkins would chair this block. Businesses on this block would include Elite Sporting Goods, Joey's Furniture, Atmore Carpets, the U. S. Post Office, Edgar's and The Country Junction, H &R Block, Shirley Darby's office, Randy Nichols, C.P.A., Southern Computer, Murray Johnson Insurance, Nancy's and Atmore Christian Care Ministries.