By Faye Gaston
Dr. Mathew Ulmer, Extension Specialist, Community Workforce, Leadership and Economic Development at Auburn University, was the facilitator for the group who discussed improving downtown Union Springs at the Town Hall meeting at the Richard Stone Complex on September 24, 2019.
Only one business owner was present. Even though the public is invited and individual letters have been mailed to the businesses, there has been little response by the businesses in attending these monthly Town Hall meetings held since January 2019.
At this September meeting, Dr. Ulmer said he would contact Dollar General to suggest a pressure washing on the exterior of this very successful business. It appears that the recent renovation of additional products and re-organizing the location of products has even increased the number of customers.
A suggestion was made that a police officer be assigned in areas where folks congregate, such as at Piggly Wiggly and the carwash and where there is "drag racing". The local police department was commended in that it does respond when there are complaints.
A sample brochure was passed around that would promote the highlights of Union Springs, and could be distributed at the Welcome Center.
The problem of littering was discussed. Carla Elston, Bullock County Co-ordinator for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, suggested "looking at high-trafficked areas to beautify and provide a safe and accessible method to walk and/or bike to local businesses (such as the intersection of Highways 82 and 29)."
She announced, "The Bullock County ALPROHEALTH Coalition has voted to invest grant funding in a community beautification project to improve aesthetics and community health.
This may include reduced or adjusted traffic patterns, increased open space, environment improvements, expanded planting, improved walkability and/or bikeability, enhanced green spaces and public spaces. Such efforts will align with its mission to increase physical activity and socialization in the communities, which will create positive effects on both physical and psychological well-being."
The other group at the Town Hall meeting discussed needed improvements in the Bullock County Public School System. The next Town Hall meeting will be on October 29 at the Richard Stone Complex at 6:00 p.m.