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ThyssenKrupp Steel Groundbreaking

Mobile County News

Left to right: County commissioners Mike Dean, Merceria Ludgood, Stephen Nodine, and Alabama Governor Bob Riley at the groundbreaking for the $3.7 billion ThyssenKrupp Steel plant.

Mobile County Commissioners were among the dignitaries taking part in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the ThyssenKrupp Steel processing facility in Calvert.

The German industrial giant is investing 3.7 billion-dollars in the plant that will make carbon and stainless steel. The plant is scheduled to open in the spring of 2010.

Alabama Governor Bob Riley praised the efforts of Commissioners Nodine and Dean in landing the plant for Mobile County. "We wouldn't be here today without them," the Governor said.

New District One Commissioner Ludgood said the plant will provide much-needed jobs and be the engine for economic growth in her district.

Construction of the facility will require 29,000 over a three-year period. Once operational, the plant will employ 2,700. The site covers 3,500 acres of land and seven million square feet of building space.

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Merceria Ludgood Sworn in Today as Mobile County Commissioner

Mobile County News

Merceria Ludgood was sworn in today as the newest member of the Mobile County Commission.

With her mother by her side, Ludgood took the oath of office. The Honorable Sonja Bivens, U.S. Magistrate, administered the oath. Hundreds of Ludgood’s family, friends, and local civic and political leaders attended the ceremony in the Government Plaza auditorium.

Ludgood won a special election last week to become commissioner for District-1. Ludgood has previously worked as an attorney for Mobile County and the City of Mobile.

"I plan to meet soon with all the mayors and city leaders in my district,” said Ludgood. “One of my immediate priorities is the Highway 43 corridor where we have to keep up and manage the growth that’s coming with ThyssenKrupp and some of the other developments.”

The District-1 seat had been vacant since May when Juan Chastang was removed from office. A federal court ordered a special election after ruling Chastang had been illegally appointed by Alabama Governor Bob Riley in 2005.

Ludgood becomes just the second woman commissioner in Mobile County. Oliveth M. Archer served from 1985 thru 1989.

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County Commission Supports Local Schools

Mobile County Commission President Stephen Nodine presented a check for $36,296 the Allentown Elementary School PTO on September 11, 2007. The organization will use the funds for computers at the school.

This presentation is the latest example of the County Commission's support to local schools. "There has been an absolute commitment on the commissioners' part to education," Nodine said.

So far this year the Commission has spent $650,000 on school and youth oriented projects.

Mobile County News

Commissioner Stephen Nodine presents check for $36,000 to members of the Allentown Elementary School PTO. Back Row: Commissioner Nodine Front Row L-to-R: Tammie Merritt, Catrina Miller, Celina Martinez, Michelle Mitchell, Tammy Johnson, Ashtiny Cleveland (Principal), Lynn Provost

Mobile County News

Judy Stanford, media specialist at Allentown Elementary, shows Commissioner Stephen Nodine some of the computer equipment purchased with the County Commission's contribution.

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County Commission Supports Volunteer Firefighters

Mobile County News

The Mobile County Commission supports nineteen different volunteer fire departments and emergency agencies. On Monday September 10, 2007, Commissioners Mike Dean and Stephen Nodine presented Chief Bill Hunter, president of the Mobile County Association of Volunteer Fire Departments a check for $200,000. The money will be distributed to the various agencies. The County Commission has also supported the volunteer fire departments this year through the purchase of several trucks and other vehicles.

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Study Sees Powerful Impact of Steel Mill

View the Summary | View the Final Report

More than 8,000 permanent jobs will be created in Lower Alabama by the opening of the ThyssenKrupp steel mill in north Mobile County. That is one of many powerful conclusions made by University of South Alabama professor Semoon Chang, Ph.D. in an economic impact study released today.

Dr. Chang examined the impact on jobs, wages, and taxes both during construction of the plant, and during operation. Based on driving patterns, education levels and other factors, Chang calculated the likely gains to be experienced in five counties surrounding the plant, and many of the municipalities within those counties.

Chang believes that during the three-year construction phase of the plant, 9,500 people per year will be employed. Approximately 2,930 will come from the City of Mobile, 2,240 from unincorporated areas of Mobile County, 550 from unincorporated areas of Baldwin County, 390 from Prichard, 235 from Saraland and 135 from Daphne and Washington County. In addition, 2,200 people currently not living in the area will be required during the construction phase.

Total taxes collected by county and city governments Chang estimates at $3.6 million per year, both during construction and operation. This figure could grow significantly with anticipated rising property values. Mobile County will collect more than $15 million annually in property taxes after an abatement period ends in 20 years.

Chang says one of the biggest winners to come out of the ThyssenKrupp plant will be the Mobile County Public School System which will receive $22 million in taxes every year once the plant becomes operational.

Dr. Chang can be reached for comment at (251) 460-6156 or

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A program with a track record of changing lives will soon be available to at-risk youth in Mobile County. Today the Mobile County Commission approved $35,000 for a pilot program for Outward Bound Discovery.

Outward Bound Discovery is committed to helping at-risk youth by providing them a life-changing experience. "It teaches them accountability, responsibility, teamwork, and leadership," said Dr. Lynn Yonge, Outward Bound Discovery Program Director. The program is already operating in Baldwin County where Yonge says 90-percent of participants have remained crime free and in school. Nationally, the program has about a 75-percent success rate, according to Yonge.

The program centers on an 18-day canoeing and camping trip in the Mobile/Tensaw River Delta. That challenging adventure is followed-up with a transitional component that includes working with the student's family and teachers.

The $35,000 from Mobile County Commission President Stephen Nodine's district funds will pay for eleven students and will hopefully inspire contributions from other private and public organizations. "It's a small price to pay in comparison to what taxpayers spend on a child in the legal system," said Nodine. "I'm committed to helping our kids and making our community safer."

For more information, contact Dr. Lynn Yonge at (251) 990-8860

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Commissioner Supports Auditorium Campaign

Mobile County Commissioner Mike Dean today pledged his support of a new auditorium at Theodore High School. Several hundred students, teachers, parents, civic and political leaders participated in a rally at the school.

"I love Theodore High School," said Dean. "The students here do a tremendous job of representing our community." Dean pledged $50,000 in county education funds next year for the project, if school board members approve a new auditorium at Theodore. The high school, second largest in Mobile County, has no auditorium.

Band, chorus and drama club members joined cheerleaders in shouting, "It's our turn!" Dean addressed the crowd, as did State Senator Ben Brooks and State Representative Spencer Collier.

Collier encouraged residents to contact their school board member. He pointed out that Mobile County will receive $51 million for capital improvements as part of a one billion dollar state bond issue recently approved by the state legislature.

"It's time again for Theodore High School to be included as a priority," said Brooks. "Today we are planting the seed that will lead to the building of an auditorium."

Randy Torbert of the Theodore Improvement Association organized the rally. He says Theodore High students in 2005-06 earned $959,000 in performing arts scholarships, despite not having a performing arts auditorium.

Citizens wanting more information can contact Torbert at (251) 653-4516.

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The Mobile County Commission today agreed to a memorandum of understanding with ThyssenKrupp Steel and Stainless USA, LLC. The county will contribute $70 million dollars toward the overall incentive package. That figure, however, will be mitigated by contributions from the Alabama Department of Transportation and the Lower Alabama Economic Development Cooperative.

The county's contribution will be made by issuing bonds and servicing the debt through the 6.5 Mill Special Road and Bridge Tax Fund, better known as the "pay-as-you-go" road program. "This is a sound and frugal decision," said Commissioner Stephen Nodine. "This requires no new taxes, does not burden our general fund through increased debt service, and does not affect our bond rating. Furthermore, over time, this will strengthen the pay-as-you-go program. The economic growth provided by the ThyssenKrupp project will provide a significant increase in fees, sales tax, and al valorem revenue."

Commissioner Mike Dean said the plan has the backing of local road builders. "I would never do anything to hurt the pay-as-you-go program," Dean said. "This will not impact the tremendous progress we have made toward improving and expanding roads throughout the county."

In exchange for the county's contribution, ALDOT has agreed to do $45 million worth of work on Schillinger Road. Eventually, the road will be five lanes from Interstate-10 to Highway 98/158. Projected to take 15 years, this "western loop" project could now be completed in as little as nine years.

Also potentially lessening the county's contribution will be the Lower Alabama Economic Development Cooperative. Last week, public leaders in four lower Alabama counties agreed in principal to contribute to the incentive package. Each county's and city's exact contribution has yet to be determined. Depending on the level of participation, Mobile County's financial contribution could be reduced.

ThyssenKrupp will invest $3.7 billion dollars in a new mill to be built north of Mt. Vernon on the Tombigbee River. Construction of the plant is expected to require 29,000 workers. Once operational, the steel mill will employ an estimated 2,700 workers.

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Mobile County Commissioners are thrilled this morning upon hearing that ThyssenKrupp AG has selected a site north of Mt. Vernon for its new three billion-dollar steel mill.

Commissioner Stephen Nodine said the state's cooperative effort was the key to landing the project. "I can't say enough about the teamwork - from the state to the city to the chamber of commerce, to Baldwin, Washington and Escambia Counties and the cities there." Just yesterday, Nodine led a meeting of local public leaders from other lower Alabama counties who agreed to form an authority to contribute to the economic incentive package. "I also want to thank the local road builders for their support," said Nodine.

While the facility will be located in the far northern area of the county, Commissioner Mike Dean, who represents primarily the southern third of the county, says everyone in the region will benefit. "This means more jobs, better-paying jobs, and an improved economy for everyone," said Dean. "The plant will be in Mt. Vernon but this is fantastic news for people in Grand Bay, Coden, and Dauphin Island"

A statewide referendum will be held June 5th to approve the state's incentive package. A referendum will also be held in Mobile County to approve the local contribution. "It's important that there will be public input and a vote on this measure," said Nodine. "I'm proud to be able to do this without raising taxes."

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Local Governments Come Together to Form Lower Alabama Economic Development Cooperative

In a show of economic and civic cooperation, a group of local city and county leaders came together Thursday to help secure a multi-billion dollar steel mill for Lower Alabama.

Representatives of local governments throughout the region and Governor Bob Riley met to create the Lower Alabama Economic Development Cooperative. Spearheaded by Mobile County commissioner Stephen Nodine, the cooperative will lend its economic support to an incentives package to attract ThyssenKrupp AG. Similar cooperatives, or authorities, exist throughout the state and are commonly used for economic development. Governor Riley applauded this spirit of cooperation saying, "There's not an area within a hundred miles that won't benefit and benefit in a significant way. This is a defining moment in south Alabama history."

The German industrial giant is expected to announce tomorrow the location of its new American mill. A 3,700-acre site near Calvert in north Mobile County is being considered, as is a location in Louisiana, midway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Members of the local cooperative met Thursday at the Mobile Chamber of Commerce building. Neal Wade, Director of the Alabama Development Office said, "If there was ever a project that needed a regional approach, this is it. It's a perfect opportunity for every community to benefit from this project."

Wade and The Alabama Development Office have commissioned a study that will detail the mill's expected economic impact on various cities and counties in lower Alabama and coastal Mississippi. These impact numbers will then be used to determine each member's financial contribution to the cooperative pending local government approval.

Among those attending Thursday's meeting were Commissioners from Baldwin, Escambia, Mobile and Washington Counties, and representatives from the cities of Daphne, Bayou La Batre, Citronelle, Mount Vernon, Atmore, Chickasaw, Saraland, Satsuma, and Spanish Fort.

The nearly three billion-dollar facility represents one of the largest private economic developments in U.S. history, according to Nodine. More than 29,000 workers will be required for construction of the mill. Once operating, the plant is expected to employ 2,700 people. ThyssenKrupp officials estimate 38,000 to 52,000 spin-off jobs over the next 20 years.

ThyssenKrupp's board of directors is scheduled to meet tomorrow in Dusseldorf, Germany. A decision on its new American mill is expected at that time.

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See the agenda: click HERE.

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Wilmer Senior Center

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The little historic schoolhouse in Wilmer has gotten a major facelift, thanks to Commissioner Stephen Nodine, who channed nearly $400,000 in federal grant money to the facility which has been transformed into the state-of-the-art Wilmer Senior Center.

"Seniors citizens and children have been my focus in my time in public office," said Commissioner Nodine. "I am thankful to everyone who has helped make this wonderful center a reality."

The Wilmer Senior Center was unveiled to the public at a grand opening. Officials showed off its amenaties such as a full kitchen, lots of storage space, a full-size billiards table and a three-in-one game table.

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The Future of Mobile County is on Display

Mobile County News Mobile County News

The future of Mobile County is on display at Government Plaza. Representatives from Northrop Grumman have assembled a brilliant model of the new KC-30 airplane to be built at Mobile's Brookley field. The Mobile County Commission played a pivotal role in securing Northrop Grumman along with EADS to build the new planes here. The model is on display in the Atrium of Mobile Government Plaza during normal business hours near the Auditorium.

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A Furniture Windfall For South Mobile County Storm Victims Mobile, Ala.

Mobile County News Mobile County News

Mobile, Ala. - South Mobile County residents that lost all their furnishings and appliances as a result of Hurricane Katrina now have an opportunity to recoup some of those household items, thanks to Mobile County Commissioner Mike Dean, Mobile Community Action and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

On Friday, January 13, 2006, Dean, who represents south Mobile County, along with MCA, an anti-poverty agency opened a furniture distribution site for storm victims. The distribution site is located in a commercial building at 13869 Wintzell Ave. in the heart of Bayou La Batre, one of the storm’s hardest hit areas.

The officials secured nearly $150,000 worth of bed frames, bed linen, lamps, appliances and other furnishings. The furniture and appliances were requested from ADECA’s surplus property. All of the household items are new.

"I am so thankful to Gov. Riley, ADECA and Mobile Community Action for the furniture and appliances," said Dean. "This is certainly needed to help the people of south Mobile County rebuild their lives and homes."

Jimmy Knight, executive director of MCA, said the Alabama Surplus Property Division had received an excessive amount of furnishings and appliances. "I am happy Mobile County residents will benefit from the surplus," Knight said.

Knight said ADECA has allocated nine 18-wheelers loaded with items for the county. Four truckloads of the furnishings were sent to south Mobile County. The other trucks hauled furnishings to MCA locations in the city of Mobile. Some of those items will also be sent to south Mobile County. "South Mobile County is our top priority," Knight added.

In addition to furniture and appliances, Knight said MCA has received nearly $90,000 from the United Way of Southwest Alabama for hurricane relief. Those funds will be used to aid residents in paying utility bills, he added.

Interested residents should apply for the furniture at MCA Furniture Distribution Center on 13865 South Wintzell Avenue in Bayou La Batre between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 457-5700.

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Mobile County Commission Unveils Plans for New Park

Mobile County News
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Mobile County Commissioner Stephen Nodine, who has a long history, since his tenure on the Mobile City Council, of revitalizing parks, announced Wednesday the construction of the first park of its kind in Semmes to serve the citizens of the western corridor. The 10,400 sq. ft park will be built in an easily accessible location right behind the Semmes Community Center at a cost of $600,000. Other recreational capital investments in the Semmes area include upgrading the soccer field at Mary G. Montgomery High School for $300,000 and building $800,000 worth of sidewalks in the area, for a total of $1.7 million in community improvements.

While on the city council, Commissioner Nodine, along with community residents, built the $400,000 Lavretta Park. He also dedicated over $1 million to Langan Park, which serves as a model, equipped with walking trails, an amphitheater, and a boundless playground. Other projects completed under Nodine's tenure on the city council include Mitternight and Miller's Parks.

"These park renovations were done with a major emphasis on quality of life issues for the citizens of Mobile," said Commissioner Nodine. "It has been my passion to create recreational outlets for the youth of our area, because they are our future."

For years, the citizens of Semmes and the surrounding areas have had to use other parks for recreational activities.

"Now the citizens of Semmes and Northwest Mobile County will have access to their own community park," said Commissioner Nodine. "This is a major investment in the county resources that ensures a safe and healthy environment for families and especially children."

Nodine also noted that the park will aid in increasing the usage of the Semmes Community Center. The additional sidewalks being built encircle the area from Snow Road to Highway 98 and from Ed George Road to Blackwell Nursery Road.

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The Mobile County Commission's HOME Program

South Mobile County, specifically Bayou La Batre, got a boost Thursday when Commissioner Stephen Nodine agreed to channel his share of the county's Community Development Block grant funds over to Commission President Mike Dean to aid in rebuilding the hurricane-damaged city of Bayou La Batre.

The agreement means that nearly $1.7 million in federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development will be used in the construction of new homes and down payment assistance for low-to-moderate income persons.

"This is our commitment to the citizens of Bayou La Batre, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina," said Commissioner Stephen Nodine. " This is a quest to rebuild Bayou La Batre and bring it back to a normal life."

Nodine stressed that he has spent thousands of Community Development Block grant funds in his district to build the Wilmer Senior Citizen Center, a health clinic in the Semmes community and for parks. "The south part of the county is in need right now. These funds will help in getting them back on their feet," he said.

Commission President Mike Dean, who represents south Mobile County said, "This is what it is all about, teamwork. The actions of my fellow commissioners means we are working together to restore this county."

The HOME program is a federally funded program through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program earmarks funds for the construction of homes to low income persons and will provide at least $7,500 in down payment assistance toward a home.

For more information, call Mobile County Grants Administrator at 574-5086.

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County Workers Reopens Busy South Mobile County Bridge

Tuesday, December 21, 2005

After eight months of closure and washouts from recent storms, the busy Argyle Road bridge in south Mobile has reopened to traffic, the Mobile County Commission announced Tuesday. Argyle Road is used heavily by school bus drivers and over 2,500 motorists-a-day.

Knowing the importance of safe bridges, Mobile County Public Works employees constructed the bridge for $200,000, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars.

The Argyle Road bridge was a culvert-type structure. Today, the old bridge has been replaces with a new state-of- the- art pre-cast concrete bridge, thanks to the dedication and hard work for some county employees. The new bridge is 48 ft. long and has two 24 ft. span and 28 feet of clear roadway width.

"It was imperative for us to build another bridge on this road," said Mobile County Commission President Mike Dean. "This area is growing. The citizens in this area deserves a safe and quality-built bridge."

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County Building Permits Fees Associated With Hurricane Katrina Waived

Mobile County Commissioners Mike Dean, Stephen Nodine and Juan Chastang adopted Monday a resolution approving the waiver of county building permit fees for all homeowners trying to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The waiver is only applicable to permit fees on or before January 13. Homeowners will get a credit up to $150.

"The damages from Hurricane Katrina are great in many areas in Mobile County," said Mobile County Commission President Mike Dean. "This is just one way we’d like to give homeowners a break on rebuilding and getting their lives back to normal."

The waiver goes into effect immediately.

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Debris Removal In Mobile County Has Ended

The Mobile County Commission announced Monday that debris removal in the unincorporated areas of the county has ended, therefore citizens are urged to STOP placing any type of debris on public-rights-of-way.

Now, if placed on public-rights-of-way, it will be considered illegal dumping. The penalty for first time offense is $250 and $500 for second offenses.

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Commissioner Chastang Sworn In

Mobile County News Mobile County News
Mobile County News

On Monday, November 21, 2005, Mobile County's newest Commissioner, Juan Chastang, was sworn in. Commissioner Chastang comes to the Commission after years of duty as a United States Marine, a police officer, and most recently as an educator at Blount High School.

I look forward to a prosperous Mobile County and a greater future for all of us," Commissioner Chastang said. He also vowed to make the area more business-friendly.

Commissioner Chastang fills the seat vacated by Samuel Jones, who became the Mayor of Mobile earlier this year.

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Mobile County Commission Recognizes EADS

Mobile County News Mobile County News

The Mobile County Commission recognized EADS, a company that helped citizens along the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. EADS provided food, clothes, medical services, and other amenities for hurricane victims. The company is relatively new to the Gulf Coast, and they have already proved that they are here to put something back into the community.

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A Health Department Satellite Clinic Opens In Semmes

The Mobile County Commission has appropriated $50,000 to assist in the opening of a new Health Department satellite clinic in the Semmes community.

The county funding will allow the Health Department to purchase medical and dental equipment at the clinic, which is housed in the old Semmes Middle School on Wulff Road.

“This facility will be an asset to the citizens of Semmes and surrounding communities,” said Commissioner Stephen Nodine. “Now, medical and dental services are more accessible to citizens in this part of the county.”

The clinic opened on Monday, October 24 with 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. office hours.

Other agencies housed in the old Semmes Middle School include Mobile Community Action and, Boys and Girls Club.

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New Prichard Senior Center Opens

Mobile County News Mobile County News

Mobile County Commission President Mike Dean was on hand to celebrate the opening of the new Prichard Senior Center on Wednesday, October 26, 2005. Others on hand included former County Commissioner Mobile Mayor Samuel L. Jones, and leaders from the City of Prichard. The center will serve the needs of the people of Prichard and the surrounding area.

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Mobile County Honors EADS/Airbus For Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort And Adopts Resolution To Finalize Bringing The Company To Mobile

The European Aeronautics Defense and Space (EADS), one of the largest aircraft manufacturers company, will be honored for their humanitarian efforts along the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The Mobile County Commission will also adopt a resolution finalizing the county’s monetary arrangements that aided in landing EADS/Airbus to Mobile.

Earlier this year, EADS/Airbus chose Mobile as the site for an engineering center that will employ 150 workers and a $600 million assembly facility that could employ as many as 1,100 workers.

The special County Commission meeting will he held Tuesday, October 25, 2005 at 10 a.m. in the auditorium of Mobile Government Plaza. Officials with EADS/Airbus will be on hand for the presentations.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, EADS delivered an Airbus BELUGA aircraft, carrying some 12.7 tons of emergency equipment (9 25m2 tents, 50 4x4 meter tents, 40 rolls of tarp, 170 8x12 meter tarps, 300 flexible jerry cans, 1,000 bars of heavy-duty soap, 500 cooking kits).

Further info at:

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New Economic Development Assessment Report

A more regional approach between Mobile and Baldwin counties is needed to attract more jobs to the region, said Jay Garner, president/CEO of Competitive Strategies Group ~ the agency hired earlier this year to do an economic development assessment for the county.

Garner unveiled a lengthy study, Thursday, October 25, 2005 at the County Commission's conference. The report revealed that the county's current economic development efforts through the Mobile Area Chamber were inadequate, therefore, funding should be reduced or eliminated.

The county currently appropriates $350,000 to the Chamber's economic development department.

Garner's report also cites deficiences with recruitment of businesses to the county and the current airline situation at Mobile Regional Airport ~ all hindrances to economic development recruitment.

"This is a golden opportunity for us (Mobile County) to include all the chambers, Prichard, Bayou La Batre, Chickasaw, Saraland, Tillman's Corner and others in our economic development initiatives," said Commission President Mike Dean.

The county paid Garner's firm $45,000 to conduct the assessment.

"(This report) really gets to the nuts and bolts of what we need to be more proactive in economic development for the future," said Commissioner Stephen Nodine. "It gives us a vision for the future to utilize our assets to better the lives of all citizens."

Dean and Nodine are taking Garner's assessment under consideration.

View the document by clicking HERE
(large file download - please be patient)

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Mobile County Commission Meeting Highlights

At their regular meeting on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 (Monday, October 10 is Columbus Day), the Mobile County Commission is set to take the following actions:

  • Accept a $1.2 million grant from the Alabama Department of Youth Services for the Community Alternative Management Plan (CAMP) for the James T. Strickland Youth Center
  • Authorize a contract regarding the transition of Lawrence M. Wettermark as County Attorney and authorize a contract retaining Douglas Anderson as County Attorney
  • Approve a resolution creating an 800 MHz radio system connecting City of Mobile and Mobile County workers

See the agenda, CLICK HERE

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County Commission Adopts New Budget

At their regular meeting on Monday, September 26, 2005, the Mobile County Commission adopted a $160 million budget for the 2006 fiscal year. The upcoming budget includes level funding for all county departments, a 5% pay increase for county employees, and a substancial increase for the public works department.

"It's described as a lean budget," Commission President Mike Dean said Monday.

The budget will go into effect on October 1.

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Wilmer Senior Center Gets New Van

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Motorists used to ease through the now defunct town of Wilmer with caution, fearful of receiving a hefty traffic fine.

On Tuesday, September 13, County Commissioner Stephen Nodine didn't break any speed limits as he delivered a new $20,000 van for seniors at the Wilmer Senior Citizen's Center. The new van replaces a delapidated, old van with no A/C.

The Mobile County Commission is currently spending $418,000 to renovate the Senior Citizen's Center, which was once a one-room schoolhouse. The county's renovation design will maintain the historic character of the facility.

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Agenda Highlights 8-22-2005

A hidden jewel in Mobile County's inventory of great recreational spots is getting a major facelift. The Mobile County Commission has approved a $456,442 bid from Youngblood-Barrett Construction and Engineering, LLC to construct a state-of-the-art Welcome Center at the Mobile County River Delta Marina (formerly Dead Lake Marina).

The County bought the 22-acre marina, which features campground facilities, rustic cabins and easy access to the Delta, in 2002 for $1 million. With the popularity of bass fishing tournaments in the area, county officials would like to see such events staged at the Marina.

Also, the three member Commission approved a study by local economist Dr Semoon Chang, to find out the impact of roads in Mobile County. The study will answer questions about the economic analysis of road construction costs.

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Hurricane Dennis Left Little Debris On County Roads

The Mobile County Commission announced Wednesday that due to the light impact and minimum damages to public and private properties from Hurricane Dennis – there will be no debris removal in the unincorporated areas of the county.

Residents are asked to please refrain from placing any hurricane debris on public right-of-ways.

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EADS, jobs coming to Mobile County

Mobile's Brookley Industrial Complex has been selected by EADS North America as the site for the EADS KC-330 advanced tanker U.S. production facility. Mobile was selected for providing a strategically-located complex on the Gulf of Mexico with existing runways, a deepwater port and a skilled aerospace workforce. An Airbus Engineering Center will be co-located with the future production facility and is scheduled to begin operations in 2006.

The decision was recently announced by EADS North America, completing a five-month nationwide search for the location that will become the center of activity for the KC-330 - which is being offered to recapitalize the U.S. Air Force's aerial refueling fleet. Mobile beat out more than 70 sites from 32 states that responded to EADS North America. The list of locations under consideration was narrowed to four candidate sites in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and South Carolina.

"Mobile County won the national championship in being chosen for the new EADS assembly plant site," said Commission President Mike Dean. "It is so rewarding to land such a business in our county. EADS will create good paying jobs for citizens and revitalize Brookley Field. Mobile County is perfectly situated for economic development ventures.

The Brookley Industrial Complex covers more than 4.5 million square feet of industrial, and is equipped with two large runways and is home to aerospace manufacturing, aircraft maintenance and air freight businesses. The Alabama State Port Authority's Choctaw Point Container Terminal and Intermodal Yard is directly adjacent to the Brookley site, providing the deepwater port access that is required for the KC-330 production facility's operation.

"This victory catapults Alabama toward a new era of growth in the aerospace and defense industries," said Alabama Governor Bob Riley. "Together, Alabama and EADS have united and are forging a partnership that will benefit both the hardworking citizens of our state and this world-renowned company."

Development of the KC-330 industrial facility will begin as a new Airbus Engineering Center in the United States, with operations starting in early 2006. Production will be initiated at the Mobile facility upon receipt of an order from the U.S. Air Force for the KC-330 aerial refueling tanker. Activities will include aircraft final assembly, militarization and modification. Depending on the size and pace of the Air Force order, the total facility investment could reach $600 million, and direct employment levels could be as high as 1,000 workers --including a mix of structure mechanics, electronic and systems specialists, engineers, quality assurance personnel and management.

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Property Tax Office Moving West

Mobile County citizens will have to go west to pay property taxes or to have their land assessed for value. The Mobile County Commission has approved a $4.7 million contract to build new headquarters for the county Revenue Commissioner's office on Michael Boulevard. The Commission considered a contract to Vance McCown Construction at their regular meeting Monday. The new facility will be built adjacent to the Michael Square Shopping Center.

Other highlights from the agenda include the county approving $3.2 million from the federally funded Community Development Block Grant program to boost the iniciatives of several local agencies including:

Mobile County was awarded the following:

  • Penelope House
  • Prichard Housing Authority
  • Homeless Coalition of the Gulf Coast
  • Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Mobile
  • Franklin Primary Health Center
  • The Child Advocacy Cent

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Mobile County Garners Four National Awards

The Mobile County Department of Public Affairs recently won four awards from the National Association of County Information Officers Award of Excellence competition. NACIO is an affiliate of the National Association of Counties, representing hundreds of communication professionals throughout the country. NACo represents about 2,000 counties in the nation's capital.

The competition, which drew more than 500 entries nationwide, recognizes the best communication and information practices in the country.

Mobile County was awarded the following:

  • An Award of Excellence for a four color brochure entitled "Traveling through Mobile County: Postcard of Success." The brochure highlighted many successful projects that were undertaken by Mobile County in 2004. The brochure was distributed to more than 800 attendees at the annual State of City & County luncheon;

  • An Award of Excellence in the special projects category for "Traveling through Mobile County," which featured County Commissioners giving area citizens a bus tour of various road projects and initiatives. The project also included a five-minute presentation on county government, invitations and brochures;

  • An Award of Excellence for a 30-second audio visual Public Service Announcement that spotlighted County Commissioners' involvement in the county's Down Payment Assistance Program. DPS is part of the federally funded Community Block Grant program;

  • A Meritorious Award in the community events category for the 10th Annual County/City Day, which showcased more than 65 local exhibitors from government, business, military, civic and charitable agencies; 20 different types of entertainment and drew over 15,000 people into Mobile Government Plaza.

NACIO will present the awards during NACo's Annual Conference & Exposition, which will be held this year in Hawaii.

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2005 Mobile County/City Day

Mobile Register Photo

More than 20,000 people celebrated Government Plaza's birthday with a giant cake at the 11th annual Mobile County City Day. Mobile's own Pollman's Bakery prepared the enormous three tiered cake, and despite its size, it didn't take long for the crowd to devour every slice.

That was just one part of the event that turned the atrium of Government Plaza into a giant birthday celebration. Three stages were set up around the complex for local performing and singing artists. One of the most electrifying acts was the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians. Their stunning, ritualistic dance performance amazed onlookers.

But they weren't there just to perform - the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians, along with more than 80 other exhibitors, were there to show off what they have to offer to the people in our area. Organizations such as the Mobile County Personnel Board and the Mobile Health Department demonstrated how citizens can take advantage of their services.

And what's a birthday party with a cookout? Haas Fine Meats, Church's Fried Chicken and Blue Bell Ice Cream had everyone that turned out for Mobile County/City Day full and coming back for seconds. The best part about it was everything was FREE to the public!

Mobile Register Photo

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Mobile County Gets Good Credit Rating

Moody’s Investor Service has reaffirmed Mobile County’s Aa3 credit rating, citing a stable local economy and future growth in the county’s tourism and biotech industries.

The reaffirmation of the rating gives Mobile County more leverage in finding a lower interest rate in borrowing over $27.4 million to:

  • Demolish the asbestos-ridden old county courthouse on Government/Royal streets;
  • Expand the annex for new Probate Court offices;
  • Build a state of the art Animal Shelter;
  • Build a new main office for the Revenue Commissioner’s office onto the Michael Square Shopping Center on Michael Blvd.

“We are happy to get the reaffirmation,” said Mobile Finance Director Michelle Herman. “It shows that we have done a good job with taxpayers dollars.”

Other reasons Moody attributed to the good rating are, “The county’s financial position is solid, as good budgetary management has allowed the county to increase reserves during a period of declining revenues.

“A 1% countywide sales tax is the largest revenue source for the county’s General Fund, accounting for 42% of revenues in fiscal 2004,” according to Moody’s Investment Report. “Despite pressure on revenues, officials have managed to increase General Fund reserves in each of the past three fiscal years, ending fiscal 2004 at $23.9 million, or a healthy 17.5% of revenues.”

Mobile County Commission President Mike Dean said the rating, “Shows that the county is on a solid, stable financial ground. It means we are conservative and fiscally responsible with taxpayer’s dollars.”

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Walter (Walt) S. Dickerson has been selected by the three member panel of the Mobile County EMA Board as the new director of the Mobile County Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security. Dickerson replaces outgoing director Paulette Williams, who retired effective April 1, 2005 after 4 years of service. Dickerson has been working with the agency since 1998 as the Director of Plans and Operations, where he was responsible for all aspects of the Emergency Management Program within the traditional scope of planning, mitigation, response and recovery functions. He has also been a key figure in the county's Homeland Security Operation.

As Director, Dickerson will oversee the agency's command and operations center, daily planning and operations, training and exercises as well as warning and notifications. He will also serve as the program manager for the Strategic National Stockpile Program (SNS) and the Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS). Dickerson has been the key leader with the county's Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Task Force.

Dickerson is currently the President-elect of the Alabama Association of Emergency Managers and will become the President of this prestigious organization with over 350 members on June 22, 2005.

Dickerson attended National University in San Diego, California, majoring in Business Management. He also has the distinction of being certified as an Advanced Level Emergency Manager by the Alabama Association of Emergency Managers. Dickerson retired from the United States Marine Corps as an officer with 22 years of service. He advanced through both the enlisted and commissioned officer ranks. Dickerson served a tour of duty in Vietnam where he was a platoon leader and decorated for Valor.

Prior to coming to EMA, Dickerson was the Director of Integrated Logistic Department for Teledyne Power Systems in Mobile, Alabama.

Dickerson was selected from among approximately 60 applicants for the director's position. The position pays approximately $87,972 per year.

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Commission Highlights:

Mobile County Commission Meeting, May 9 at 10 a.m. in the auditorium of Mobile Government Plaza.

For the first time in the history of the Mobile County Commission, the three-member panel approved Monday, May 9, 2005 to enter into a sub-recipient agreement with Habitat For Humanity to build and restore homes in county communities.

Using federal funds from the Community Development Block Grant Program, County Commissioners will partner with the agency in assisting low-to-moderate income families with getting into a home.

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Grand Bay Welcomes New Senior/Community Center

The south Mobile County community of Grand Bay, known for its popular Watermelon Festival and rustic environment, will come alive Saturday, May 14, 2005 at 11 a.m. as citizens welcomes a new Senior/Community Center into the area.

The center is located on Highway 90 ~ adjacent to Sunny South Raceway in Grand Bay. Mobile County Commission President Mike Dean, along with other officials, will preside over the event ~ which will include performances from students at Castlen Elementary School, Bryant High School and Grand Bay Middle School.

The center will serve the community of more than 10,000 people, from Theodore/Irvington to St. Elmo/Grand Bay communities.

The 3,750-square-feet center was built using $316,000 from the federally-funded Community Development Block Grant program and $199,805 from the Mobile County Commission's general fund.

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Commission Highlights:

Mobile County Commission Meeting, Tuesday, April 26, 2005 at 10 a.m. in the auditorium of Mobile Government Plaza.

  • Mobile County is getting ready for the future. The County Commission is scheduled to vote on hiring Auburn University for $38,575 to develop a long range Strategic Plan for the county;
  • JOBS and more JOBS is the foundation of Mobile County's economic base. The County Commission will take action Tuesday on an agreement to hire Competitive Strategies Group LLC to develop a comprehensive economic development strategy for the county;
  • The Mobile County Commission is scheduled to approve a $900,000 contract with the Convention and Visitors Corporation and a local Hotel/Motel Association to assist in attracting conventions and promotional events to the county;
  • The Mobile County Commission will award Tuesday a $678,651.40 bid to Cardinal Contracting Inc. to build a waste water treatment facility at the Mobile County River Delta Marina, formerly Dead Lake Marina;
  • Safety is an issue for the students and parents in Semmes who travel busy Highway 98 each day. On Monday, the County Commission will take action on a $395,224 bid for a pedestrain walk which will hopefully create a safe route to area schools;
  • The Mobile County Commission will take action on a $357,452 bid to renovate the Wilmer Senior Citizen Center;

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The Mobile County Commission approved several budget amendments Monday, March 14, 2005 to upgrade some of the equipment in the county’s Public Works Department. The amendments will be spent on the following:

  • The purchase of $500,000 of equipment for the Public Works Department;
  • To move the county Probate Court offices from the old courthouse into the new Mobile County Annex, formerly the old Mobile Register on Government St.;
  • New vehicles and heavy equipment for the county’s ballparks, Animal and Litter Patrols.

Austal Shipbuilding Financial Boost

The Mobile County Commission approved a project agreement with Austal USA for $2.5 million in economic development funding. The funds will aid the shipbuilding company with the construction of hanger for the Littoral combat ship project;

The Senior Citizens in Wilmer Gets A Facelift~ District 2

The Mobile County Commission authorized for bids to be taken on the renovation of the Wilmer Senior Center Monday.

The bids will be opened on March 30 and awarded April 25. Construction will begin on the center the first week of May. Construction will likely take four months.

“The seniors in rural Mobile County have needed a center for years,” said Commissioner Stephen Nodine, who represents District 2. “This is a concerted effort to meet their needs and allow them an opportunity to see their hard earned tax dollars at work for them.”

Sanitary Sewer for South Mobile County

The Mobile County Commission approved a letter beginning the first step in doing a feasibility study for sanitary sewer in south Mobile County.

New Digs For The Revenue Commissioner Office

The County Commission approved advertising for bids to build a new headquarters for the Revenue Commissioner’s office on Michael Blvd. In an effort to make services more accessible for citizens, Commissioners have agreed to move the Revenue Commissioner’s main office from the old courthouse into the West Mobile shopping center;

Road Widening

The Mobile County Commission approved a supplemental agreement with Baskerville-Donovan Inc. for the Old Shell Road widening, from Hillcrest Road to Schillinger Road, increasing the contract in the amount of $67,920.

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Mobile County Strategic Planning Process:

What are Mobile County's future priorities? How can county government become more efficient? What are county government's strength and weaknesses? Who are the stakeholders in county government?

The Mobile County Commission want answers to these questions and many more as they embark upon a "Strategic Planning" process for county government.

Commissioners are in the process of accepting proposals from a number of agencies to facilitate a strategic planning assessment that will enhance and assist in future county government endeavors.

Presently, the Center for Governmental Services at Auburn University has submitted a proposal to determine priorities for the county in the areas of efficiency, effective service delivery, sustainable economic development, public satisfaction and maintenance of fiscal and budgetary matters.

The county is expecting similar proposals from the University of Alabama and Stone & Webster Management Consultants Inc. in the coming weeks.

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Mobile County Commission Highlights: February 28, 2005

See the agenda, CLICK HERE

The renaming of the former Mobile Register building on Government Street to Mobile County Annex. The County Commission has leased the building to house Probate Court's marriage license, recording, and the election center offices. Probate Court is tentatively scheduled to move in the building in April;

Approve the hiring of Washington-based lobbying firm Van Scoyoc Associates Inc. The company will be charged with getting more federal funding into Mobile County;

Approve an increase in service fees for the Health Department. The fee increases include food service permits to onsite sewage disposal;

Authorized advertising for bids for pedestrian walk at Semmes School. Authorized advertising for bids for pedestrian walk at Semmes School.

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Mobile County Commission Highlights: February 14, 2005

  • The Mobile County Commission approved Monday, February 14, 2005, a grant application to aid in the battle against underage drinking in the county. The $25,000 application was submitted to the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. If approved by ADECA, the funds will be channeled to programs that are working to curtail underage drinking;
  • Potholes may be a thing of the past for some Prichard streets. On Monday, the three-member County Commission awarded a $249,680.01 bid to Hosea O. Weaver & Sons to resurface the following streets in Prichard:
    1. Antone Street, from Wolf Ridge Road to Bearfork Road;
    2. Snyder Avenue, from Whistler Street to Whistler Street;
    3. Kilby Street, from Rawls Avenue to Price Avenue North;
    4. July Avenue, from Whistler Street to the end of pavement;
    5. Easterling Street, from Clark Avenue to Percy Avenue;
    6. Chastang Street, from College Street to City Limits;
    7. Albert Street, from Prichard Lane to the end of pavement;
    8. Magee Street, from Clark Avenue to the end of the pavement;
    9. Marsh Avenue, from Petain Street to Haig Street;
    10. Edward Street, from Telegraph Road to the railroad;
    11. Benjamin Street, from Telegraph Road to the end of the pavement;
    12. Palmetto Avenue, from Chandler Street to Turner Road East;
    13. Muriel Avenue, from the city limits to Owens Street;
    14. Bataan Avenue, from the city limits to Owens Street;
    15. McArthur Avenue, from the city limits to Owens Street;
    16. Second Avenue, from the city limits to Owens Street;
    17. Hale Drive, from Marengo Drive to Colbert Street;
    18. Etowah Avenue, from Marengo Drive to Colbert Street;
    19. Cherokee Avenue, from Marengo Drive to Colbert Street.
  • Construction cost has increased to an all time high in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan. County government is not immune to the rising cost. On Monday, County Commissioners ratified a decision to reject current bids on the construction of the Saraland Senior Center. In hopes of lowering the construction cost, commissioners authorized staffers to re-bid the north Mobile project with some changes in the original plans.

See the agenda, CLICK HERE

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The Mobile County Commission has reached an agreement with the bonding company that guaranteed the completion of the Prichard Community Center.

On Monday, January 24, 2005, at 10 a.m., in the auditorium of Mobile Government Plaza, Commissioners are set to ratify an interim agreement with Fidelity Deposit Company of Maryland to complete the 5,300 square-foot facility that is located on Main Street in Prichard. Construction of the senior center was halted in July due to a cash flow problem with the contractor ConserTech for not paying its subcontractors.

With the safety of the students at Mary G. Montgomery High School in mind, the County Commission and the Mobile County Public School Board will split the $199,937 construction cost on a staging area at the southwest school. The Commission will take action on Monday to award the project to Apex Construction, Inc. The staging area will relieve the traffic overcrowding on Snow Road and Highway 98, caused by a traffic jam of school buses.

See the agenda, CLICK HERE

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Buying a car tag, paying property taxes and checking out a library book, may get a little easier for south Mobile residents. If approved, the County Commission will move the License Commissioner’s Office, Revenue Commissioner’s Office and Sheriff Substation to the Theodore Oaks Shopping Center. On Monday, the Commission will consider to ratify approving a 15-year lease with HD 90 L.L.C., for use of the property.

The action will be voted on at the next Commission meeting to be held

Monday, January 10, 2005 -- 10 a.m. -- Mobile Government Plaza’s Auditorium

See the agenda, CLICK HERE

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