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Capital city plans spread to Greenville

A group of about 50 Butler County business people were enlightened Tuesday night about new developments coming soon to the central Alabama area.

Gordon Martin, vice president of the Southern Division of Alabama Power, was the guest speaker who spoke of these developments at the quarterly meeting of the Butler County Manufacturers Association (BCMA).

Martin, who serves as the chairman of the board of directors of the Montgomery Riverfront Development Foundation, revealed short and long-range proposed plans for the downtown Montgomery area.

Included in the first phases of the plans is the building of a ballpark for the new Montgomery Biscuits minor league baseball team.

The stadium is being built into the historic train station, and is located on Coosa and Talapoosa streets.

When completed, it is expected to have a capacity of 6,000 people.

&uot;This is happening right up the road from us [in Butler County], and things like this don't take place without having an effect on us,&uot; said Judy Gettys, business office manager for the Greenville, Fort Deposit and Georgiana Alabama Power offices. &uot;Many times, when people [from this area] want to go out for an evening of entertainment, they go to Montgomery. &uot;

Greenville mayor Dexter McLendon said he is interested in the Butler County area becoming part of the &uot;river region,&uot; although the decision to include Greenville in this region can only be made by officials in Montgomery. If this happened, Greenville would be a part of the development plans for Montgomery and become part of the Montgomery chamber of commerce, McLendon said.

At the meeting, Martin said he was anxious to work with McLendon in supporting new economic projects being pursued by the city of Greenville said Ricky McLaney, head of the Butler County Commission for Economic Development.

McLendon said he has met with Martin and other representatives from Alabama Power and talked about available development programs and industrial recruitment.

&uot;If we can get business here, Alabama Power will be able to sell power to these companies,&uot; McLendon said.

Alabama Power will be serving both the Hwashin and Hysco plants coming to Greenville.

Representatives from both companies were present at the meeting.

Through their economic and community development department, Alabama Power assists in recruiting new industry and in paying for announcement ceremonies for new plants, Gettys said.

&uot;Alabama Power feels a commitment to all communities they serve,&uot; she said.

Also during the meeting, Rob Wyatt of Westpoint Stevens received a plaque of appreciation from the Manufacturers' Association for his contribution in bringing the business to the Greenville area, McLaney said.