- Cullman, Alabama

February 6, 2013

EDITORIAL: A door of opportunity

The Cullman Times

CULLMAN — The business future for Cullman County grew a little brighter this week when Gov. Robert Bentley announced funding for the Interstate 65 interchange at County Road 222.

Sen. Paul Bussman and Rep. Mac Buttram hosted a press conference Monday at Cullman City Hall to announce the governor’s approval and discuss the project. During the conference, Bussman and Buttram noted the extensive cooperation among local entities in making the project possible. The Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce pledged more than $1 million to cover local costs for the project. The cities of Good Hope and Cullman and the Cullman County Commission all pledged support and approached the projected as a united front. For lawmakers, the local support made winning approval for the CR 222 interchange easier.

Beyond the important recognition of local unity, the CR 222 interchange opens the door to some lucrative, realistic growth for the area. The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame will announce this month its choice for locating a permanent facility. Cullman County is now in the driver’s seat with the interchange approved. Good Hope officials will also find plenty of development opportunities on land adjoining or near the interchange.

Within a few years, construction will be complete and new retail opportunities are sure to arise.

The interchange was promised to Topre several years ago when the company located here. Fulfilling that promise was important to many local officials. Topre has become one of the area’s top employers and recently announced a major expansion. The interchange will eventually relieve some traffic problems in the area, too.

The determination of local leaders to make the CR 222 interchange possible is one of the most important success stories in recent years among local government officials. Opening the door for economic development is one of the key roles government can offer to a community. In this case, the job was done well.