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09/14/2012 – From the Office of Roger Bedford – Capitol Report

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Capitol Report for September 14th, 2012

It has certainly been and exciting time since the last Capitol Report. We’ve had two major industrial announcements, one in our Senate District in the Shoals with Firestone announcing that it is going to double the size of its plant with a $40 million dollar expansion and adding approximately 40 jobs.

Just a few weeks ago we had the announcement of the Walgreen’s Call Center expansion that will be taking place in Muscle Shoals. Walgreens expects to fill 150 jobs soon after the renovation and facility expansion is complete in December with the company planning to add an additional 100 jobs in each of the next two years.

It is good seeing new jobs coming into our area, but it is also important that we keep the existing jobs that we have and continue to search for new jobs.

As we’ve talked about before the days of showing a cotton field to an industrial prospect and saying “we want you to locate here” are long over. Industry in the 21st century wants existing land infrastructure and a lot of times buildings already in place that they can immediately utilize. As such, it was a pleasure to dedicate the new industrial spec building in the Vina Industrial Park in Franklin County this week. This industrial building is ideally located approximately half way between Corridor Y , Hwy 24 and Corridor X new interstate 22. It has approximately 42,000 square feet in it and I look forward to it having hundreds of workers some day in the future. As you may know it has been my long time philosophy that I had rather put people to work so when they are paying taxes there is money for our schools and government rather than raising taxes. I think it’s a bad idea to raise taxes especially on working families and small businesses.

It is good to see the highway work underway on highway 24. It has long been a dream of mine to fulfill Congressman Tom Bevill’s request to see that Highway 24 known as Corridor Y becomes a complete four lane joining Corridor X which is soon to be our new Interstate 22 in Mississippi. I can’t help but smile at all the construction work going on in Jefferson County as they prepare for Corridor X to tie into Interstate 65.

Yes, football season has finally arrived. While the temperature needs to be a little cooler I’m excited about high school football throughout our Senate District and State as well as SEC College football. It is my understanding that the University of North Alabama is also building a strong football program for the upcoming season. I hope you all come out to support your local, Junior High and High School teams as well as your favorite Colleges.

What an honor it was to introduce Alexandra Branyon in Fayette at the Fayette Civic Center recently. I had the privilege of presented a Senate Resolution honoring her for her work. We are so fortunate to have this outstanding Fayette native and fine Alabamian adding to the rich cultural activities at the Civic Center. It was also interesting to see so many former Fayette students who are now succeeding in life talk about their experiences there in the building when it was still a school. We wish Ms. Branyon all the best in the future and I know we’ll see many more successes from her good work.

It was a pleasure to recently attend the Alabama Council of Local Governments Annual fish fry in Tuscumbia. It was very well attended by the local elected officials and board members from the five counties that Keith Jones’s fine group heads up. Those five counties being, Lauderdale, Colbert, Franklin, Marion and Winston Counties.

Many of you have contacted me about the upcoming amendment coming up on September 18th. As I’ve told many of you on the phone and in person, I agree with you that it is not the best way to fund state government by taking one time monies to pay on reoccurring expenses. It’s a shame that the Republican Super Majority does not want to put language in the amendment that would require us to pay the Oil and Gas Savings and Trust Fund account back. However, the reason you have a savings account is so that you can have a bridge over tough financial waters and I hope that you’ll vote yes to this amendment because Medicaid, mental health and other state services are depending upon its passage. The Governor and the GOP Super Majority in the Alabama Legislative have provided no leadership as to alternatives if the amendment is rejected, in other words there is no plan B if it fails.

The following grants were recently awarded in our Senate District. $1000 to the Red Bay High School Majorettes and Dance Line. $500 to the Tharptown High School Softball Program. $500 to the Tharptown High School Youth Football and Cheer league. $1000 to the Franklin County Schools ( Red Bay, Vina and Tharptown ) speech Therapy for an ipad purchase. $1000 to the Russellville High School Golden Tiger Anglers Club. $500 to the Red Bay Elementary 6th grade field trip to Daulphin Island and $1250 to the City of Red Bay Weatherford Library.

I am very pleased to announce that the Alabama Department of Economic Affairs (ADECA) has granted funding for the important grants I have fought so hard to obtain.

$51,300.00 was awarded to the West Alabama Children’s Advocacy Center. This project will continue to enable the West Alabama Children’s Advocacy Center to continue to provide child abuse services and a child friendly facility in Lamar County and to support satellite facilities in Fayette County and Pickens County. Taped interviews and counseling sessions along with court preparations will be provided to the victims in each of these facilities. We must protect our children from abuse and put in jail those who abuse them.

$7,948.00 was awarded to assist the Town of Double Springs Police Department with the purchase of 4 ballistic vests, 7 tailored armor vest carriers, 4 each 5.56 police rifles, sights, light mountings, 3-point fifle slings and tactical slings, 2 tasers, 1 taser cartridge and 4 taser batteries. This equipment will assure that the Police Department will have the necessary resources to remain in conformance and provide necessary equipment to perform their duties.

$150,000.00 was awarded to Northwest Shoals Community College to continue implementation of the Child Passenger Safety program in the 10 Community Traffic Safety Program regions located across the state. Counties served in this program are Colbert, Cullman, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Morgan and Winston.

$249,613.00 was also awarded to Northwest Shoals Community College for The North Alabama Highway Safety Office to continue implementation of the ADECALETS Highway Safety programs in the North Alabama region to include the 10 counties of Colbert, Cullman, Franklin, Lawrence, Limestone, Lauderdale, Madison, Madison, Marion, Morgan, and Winston.

$133,000.00 was awarded to Shelton State Community College to be used to administer traffic safety projects and grants in West Alabama. This grant serves the following counties: Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Perry, Pickens, Sumter and Tuscaloosa.

The City of Fayette, which is governed by Mayor Ray Nelson, was awarded $450,000.00. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds will provide sewer system improvements on 5th Street NE, 4th Street NE, 4th Lane NE, and 6th Avenue NE and will ultimately benefit 165 people.

The City of Hamilton was awarded $250,000.00. This CDBG will provide funds for an extensive revitalization to a six block area in the downtown commercial region. The project will consist of drainage, water, sewer, street, sidewalk, lighting, landscaping and handicapped accessibility improvements. Thanks to the hard work of Mayor Annette Sherrill and local officials we were able to obtain these funds that will improve the quality of life of everyone in Hamilton.

The Lamar County Commission, which is chaired by Judge Johnny Rogers, received a $350,000.00 CDBG to provide new water service to 42 households that are currently being served by contaminated water wells and springs in two separate sections of Lamar County.

The City of Sulligent received $350,000.00, and these CDBG funds will provide new sewer service to the residents of Buck Jackson and Wilson Roads as well as Willow and Wren Streets. The project will also replace a deteriorated and undersized pump station at Lamar Heights Apartments.

In addition to CDBG funds, ADECA awarded funding to Safeplace, Inc. for Crime Victim Assistance and Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters Grants to States and Indian Tribes. Safeplace received $45,005.00 for a project that will continue to address the dual problems of expanding domestic violence services to a growing Hispanic population in Colbert, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Franklin, Marion and Winston counties. These funds will also provide more personnel on-site in rural counties, who will provide services, such as court advocacy, to rural victims and refer both populations to their crisis line and residential facility when needed.

Safeplace also received $175,971.00 for the Safeplace P.E.A.C.E. Project, which serves six Northwest Alabama Counties, will address the problem of family violence and prevention of future abuse. Services will include school-based violence prevention/education programs, media and community awareness campaigns about services available to victims, victim outreach programs, training for community agencies and professionals, provision of crisis line, safe housing and counseling for victims, and domestic violence intervention programs for perpetrators will be expanded.

As always, thanks to the Mayors, Commissioners, and local officials, as well as the Governor, ADECA Director Jim Byard, and members of the Legislature, who helped us obtain these funds that will improve the quality of life for the citizens of Northwest Alabama. You may rest assured that I will keep working hard to bring out tax dollars back home to help our area grow.

I certainly appreciate all the cards, e-mails, letters and phone calls which I have received from you. This enables me to continue to work effectively on your behalf. If you should need to reach me for any reason feel free to do so at the contact information listed below.

Roger H. Bedford, Jr.
Alabama State House
11 S. Union Street, Suite 738
Montgomery, Alabama 36130
Phone 334-242-7862, Fax 334-242-9202
Russellville Office
P.O. Box 370
Russellville, Alabama 35653
Phone 256-332-6966 Fax 256-332-6967
Email: senbedford@aol.com
Website: http://www.RogerBedford.com

Amanda Hovater
Assistant
Roger H. Bedford, Jr.
Senate Minority Leader
Roger Bedford & Assoc., P.C.
Attorney at Law
P.O. Box 370
Russellville, Alabama 35653
(256) 332-6966 – Direct Line Russellville Office
(256) 332-2880 – Law Firm
(256) 332-6967 – Facsimile
(334) 242-7862 – Montgomery Office
AHovater.RBA@gmail.com

Written by 49 County News.Net

September 13, 2012 at 12:44 PM

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