News Sports Opinion Photos Social Classified Obits Contact

Year in News

By Michael Butler

2023 has been a year of progress. The city has seen projects come to fruition with others nearing the finish line. At the forefront of that list was the completion of the new $21 million high school and fine arts facility on the THS campus.

"1,485 days - not that I counted," exclaimed Tallassee City Schools superintendent Dr. Brock Nolin noting the time it took to build it when addressing dignitaries and staff at the ribbon cutting. Among those in attendance was Gov. Kay Ivey.

"With over 65,000 feet of campus space, it will be home to state-of-the-art science labs, an auditorium, a fine arts complex and a media center," said Ivey. "Tallassee High School will be entering into a new chapter in education, truly an exciting way to start the 2023 academic year."

Hill accepting the US Department of Transportation grant for infrastructure improvements

In addition to the finished product at THS, Tallassee had other good news in 2023. The city was awarded a monumental federal grant worth $9.7 million for gas line replacements.

"Progress begets progress," Tallassee Mayor Sarah Hill said. "Hopefully that will continue. It's such a beautiful town. I want people to come here and be excited with everything that has changed."

Work began in the spring for Elmore County but could be a project for the Tallapoosa County side soon.

"There's 33 miles of cast iron. Half of it is on the Elmore County side," said Hill. "The rest is on the Tallapoosa side. We will be reapplying for the Tallapoosa side next year for around $8 million."

Hill completed her first year in office in the summer of this year. The gas line project is one of several ongoing upgrades under her watch. The downtown streetscape and facelift of the Benjamin Fitzpatrick Bridge are also in the works.

Out with the Old
In with the New

"There are some exciting things coming up," Hill added. "We'll see some additional growth and changes for the better. I know quality of life is a big issue. Recreation is one of the things people want to see. That's where I'm looking next. (I'm) not promising anything at this moment, but we have some potential good things on the horizon."

Surveys regarding those quality of life improvements could bring new recreational opportunities. A new rec center has been discussed as one of those possibilities. The recreation department is now headed up by Eric Phillips, who took over the director's position in October.

"I am excited and honored," said Phillips. "My aim is to foster a sense of community through sports and recreational activities, ensuring that our citizens have access to enriching experiences that contribute to their overall well-being. I am eager to collaborate with the dedicated Parks and Recreation staff to build on the strong foundation they have established."

The landmark 1928 Hotel Talisi was taken down in the downtown district. The building suffered serious damage from a 2009 fire and never reopened.

"After a lengthy legal process, the Tallassee City Council was finally able to prove that the historical Hotel Talisi posed a hazardous situation in the downtown area," councilman Bill Hall said in a meeting last year.  "The property owner agreed to sign over the deed for the property to the City of Tallassee rather than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in necessary repairs."

The east side mill property, which was also destroyed by fire, was taken over by the Mt. Veron Mills Transformation Project. The entity began cleaning up the riverfront lot and unveiled plans for future use.

Year in Sports
Year in Photos