News Sports Opinion Photos Social Classified Obits Contact
Hill displays the check from the US Department of Transportation for infrastructure improvements

Mayor talks about investments in city

By Michael Butler

When you start adding up the dollars, it may not amount to the Mega Millions lottery payout, but it is substantial. Millions of dollars are being invested in the Tallassee community.

The new $21 million high school opened its doors last week. Over $4 million is going towards updating the Tallassee Sewage Disposal Lagoon. The Benjamin Fitzpatrick Bridge project is $3.5 million. Another $2.5 million is being invested in downtown improvements. The Mount Vernon Restoration Project has surpassed the million dollar mark as well.

The city will be applying $9.7 million in federal grant aid to infrastructure improvements with potentially another $8.9 million at stake with an additional grant application.

In all, those figures are at roughly $50 million.

"I can drive from one side of Tallassee to the next and see all the progress," Mayor Sarah Hill said, "We've got some stuff going on. We're making some waves across the state. A lot of people complain about seeing the piles of dirt. That is progress."

The city council recently heard a presentation on strategic planning regarding future opportunities.

"In a previous life, I did strategic planning myself," said Hill. "What we have found through surveys is that quality of life is one of the hottest topics we have."

Hill said that enhanced recreation, entertainment and sports programs and services ranked at the top of the priority list.

"What we need is infrastructure. What we want is recreation. I understand that is a big piece of the puzzle in keeping our families here. I'm focused on that for this year."

The city budget for the upcoming fiscal year will be approximately $12 million.

"(With) our current budget, we're projected to be about $300,000 under budget. The budget is not a checkbook. We do have a lot of overhead. There are a lot of other experiences that are very variable, so we have to prepare for what might happen. There's not a lot of money to freely play around with."