Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As I’ve mentioned before, the City of Tuscaloosa has flourished significantly in the past decade. We have seen growth and opportunity that sets us apart as one of the most impressive cities in the nation. Tuscaloosa’s future is a bright one, and as your mayor, I want to continue to encourage ideas that make our City an even better place to call home.
The latest unemployment numbers show that Tuscaloosa County had a jobless rate of 4.9 percent in October – down from 5.2 percent in September and 5.1 percent one year ago. According to newly released figures, Alabama’s overall unemployment rate is 5.9 percent – down slightly from September and above the national average of 5.0 percent.
By Heather Buchanan
The city of Tuscaloosa’s new glass pulverizer has yet to be installed, but that hasn’t stopped residents from dropping off over 35 tons, or 75,000 pounds, of clear, green, brown, and blue glass bottles and jars to be recycled since July.
Ashley Chambers, environmental coordinator for the city of Tuscaloosa, said the glass pulverizer machine should be installed by the end of the year. The department expects to have tons of glass to pulverize when the machine becomes operational.
“We’d rather have the glass ready to go, rather than plugging in the machine and then waiting,” Chambers said.
The pulverizer will tumble and crush glass bottles and jars into mulch and sand, creating what the city says is an environmentally sustainable industrial product.
Gov. Robert Bentley has announced a $200,000 grant that will enhance recreation in the city of Moundville.
The Appalachian Regional Commission grant will be used to build a 1,500-foot concrete trail connecting downtown with Moundville State Archaeological Park. The walking and bicycle trail will be parallel to a proposed road that will run the identical route as the trail.
“This project will benefit residents, visitors and be an asset to an already wonderful historical park and community,” Bentley said. “I commend local leaders for their commitment to improve the community and boost Moundville’s economy.”
ARC funds will be used to build, landscape and light the trail. Local funds of $78,020 have been pledged for the project. City officials believe the road and trail will draw more visitors to the downtown district because it will provide more direct access between the park and downtown. About 30,000 people annually visit the park, the site of a major prehistoric settlement along the Black Warrior River during the Mississippian or mound-building era. Native Americans who were part of the culture that developed during this era established permanent villages and turned to agriculture as a major means of obtaining food.
Bentley notified Mayor Tony Lester that the grant has been approved.
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is making another campaign stop in Alabama. Trump will hold a rally at the BJCC this Saturday, Nov. 21, at 11 a.m.
Secretary of State John Merrill confirmed Trump’s upcoming visit.
“I am confident that Mr. Trump’s appearance will be welcomed with enthusiasm, just as it was in Mobile,” said Merrill.
The City of Tuscaloosa is doing quite well, according to an analysis by the New York personal finance company SmartAsset, which just released its list of the Top 10 Places Where Poverty is falling the fastest.
Tuscaloosa comes in at number nine on the list – with poverty rates that have “plummeted” since 2005, even as poverty rates nationwide (and particularly in major metropolitan areas) has increased.
Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded $2.1 million in grants to improve living conditions in six west Alabama communities, including Moundville, which received a block grant of $250,000.
The Moundville grant will enable improvements to the drainage system in the CC Loop Area to alleviate flooding, prevent erosion and reduce a health hazard in the area which also affects Moundville Archaeological Park.
It’s the news so many Tuscaloosa residents were waiting for: The Alberta Bridge on University Boulevard East will reopen this week. According to city officials, who Tweeted out the news on Tuesday, the bridge will officially reopen at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5.
While many people use the University Boulevard Bridge daily, thousands use it to get to and from the interstate on football game days. This is particularly good timing: Bama vs. LSU on Saturday, Nov. 7 will be a busy day in T-town as fans arrive for the big game.
According to information from the contractor on the project, the bridge will only be open to vehicular traffic – the sidewalks will remain closed to pedestrian traffic until changes to the bridge’s guardrail are approved and installed.
The Alberta Bridge has been closed since December 2014. Work on the bridge was necessary because of damage after the April 2011 Tuscaloosa tornado. In recent weeks, crews have been busily paving and striping the bridge, getting it ready for traffic once again.
Photo: Google Earth
The City of Tuscaloosa’s floodplain management committee will hold an informal public meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 5 p.m. in the Council Chambers to discuss the floodplain management plan.
This goal of this meeting is to allow interested citizens, especially those subjected to flooding or living in the floodplain, to provide input on areas that are susceptible to widespread or localized flooding. Committee consultants will bring maps that will have flood prone areas identified and ask citizens to identify any issues or problem areas that have not been addressed. This input will be used in the development of the plan.