Planning or speculation?
Published 6:51 pm Wednesday, May 12, 2004
As many of you have been reading in the pages of the Atmore Advance, there is a lot happening out around the interstate. But, our question is, what "exactly" is happening out at the interstate? Currently, there is little more than rumor and speculation among the residents of our area.
In many board games, strategy is a key factor. Take the game of Chess for instance. In the game you have pieces that can move in a variety of ways, some are limited and some are not. As a player, you must constantly anticipate the move of your opponent so that your defenses hold and you put yourself in a key position to take the game.
Both the City of Atmore and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians have acquired large areas of land near the interstate. Each player seems to be making calculated moves concerning the area around the interstate. For example in our last issue we reported that the tribe purchased more than 2,000 acres in the Sardine area on March 30. In today's issue, we report that the tribe is close to purchasing the gas station known as Terry's Texaco on Highway 21 in front of the Bingo Palace.
We are not trying to imply that Poarch and the city are at war or even opponents, but in fact, we believe the opposite is occurring. Rather than thinking of Poarch and the City as opponents, think of them as team, working together on individual projects to benefit the whole.
Unfortunately, at this point we can only guess what the intentions of both entities are whether working separately or together. We have Mayor Howard Shell's assurance that the City and tribe are supporting each other's efforts, but so far, we have heard nothing from the tribe.
We believe the partial silence is because things are still in transition, and announcements will be made at the proper time.
If projects are undertaken at these properties with the cooperation of both the city and the tribe, we believe the economic impact will benefit us all. If this is a case of pure land speculation, purchasing land in the hopes that something, eventually, should happen, it's a dangerous gambit for us all.
The city has taken on a considerable amount of debt in acquiring its properties, and the tribe has also made a significant investment of several million dollars recently.
We hope the leaders of our two largest entities in this area know what they are doing.