Planning for growth in Baldwin County

What is the big concern Baldwin County Superintendent Dr. Alan Lee said he’s hearing at the community meetings he’s been holding?

He talked about that at an economic development meeting Tuesday afternoon in Daphne.

MORE TEACHERS

Dr. Lee told an Economic Development Luncheon held by the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce that he’s been hearing a common theme from people at community meetings.

Lee said, “They want more teachers so that we can have more opportunities of enrichment classes for their children, so, they’ve expressed that, but, of course, to provide more teachers and to reduce class sizes, you also have to have more classrooms.”

BIG POPULATION GROWTH EXPECTED

He cited an example of the projected population growth in one Eastern Shore city.

Lee said, “Spanish Fort is 70 percent in eight years.”

Considering that growth, what’s the next step?

Lee said, “The solution is, perhaps, not jelled yet. But, our board is looking at what the possibilities would be. Our issue right now is that we have no bonding capacity because $30 million dollars of our budget is based upon the one cent sales tax that goes away in four years if it isn’t renewed.”

GROWTH LEADS TO TRANSPORTATION ISSUES

Matthew Brown, the coordinator of the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization also addressed the group
He said with growth comes transportation issues.

Brown said, “If we didn’t make any changes to our transportation network with the growth that we’re seeing, about 66,000 new people here on the Eastern Shore by 2040, we would certainly see major congestion issues by 2040, and start seeing those issues in 2020. We see a lot of them now already.”

People driving around Baldwin County would probably vouch for that.

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