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More jobs, better roads, a bridge over the candidate list | News

Improving county roads and creating more county jobs are top two priorities on Earl “Sonny” Malcom’s to-do list if elected to District 2 office of the Lawrence County Commission. . The incumbent, Norman Pool, said he would continue to push for the development of a bridge over the Tennessee River from Lawrence County to Limestone County.

Malcom is challenging Pool, seeking his third term, in the May 24 Republican primary.

“The bridge across the Tennessee River is a big dream of mine,” Pool said. “I see design plans rolling out in the next 18 months to two years and work will begin in about four years.”

Pool, the owner of Pool Farm Equipment Inc. in Hatton and Norman Pool Farms, said it was considering building the span from Mallard Creek or east across the river to Limestone. He said the City of Decatur and the Lawrence County Commission had discussions and the plan was “moving quickly.”

“It would bypass Decatur and put you in Huntsville with no red lights along the way. Lawrence County would prosper and become astronomical with this bridge. Real estate prices will skyrocket and, in turn, generate more taxes for the county. We certainly don’t need to be anti-corporate.

Pool said federal, state and local funds will be needed to fund the bridge project. A mid-year budget adjustment approved in April by the Decatur City Council included $1 million to serve as the local counterpart to a potential $1 million grant to study the placement of a third bridge across the river. Tennessee. State Sen. Arthur Orr said last month that he believes the awareness of the Alabama Department of Transportation of the need for the bridge will make it feasible within the next five to 10 years.

Malcom, 78, said he wants the commission to work closely with the Lawrence County Industrial Development Board to help replace International Paper’s departure in 2014, which took 1,100 jobs with it.

“Courtland Air Force Base already has Lockheed Martin, Bradshaw Mechanical and others,” said Malcom, who served as county commission chairman from 1983 to 1985 before a federal judge eliminated the full-time position. . The decision was overturned, but the county commission later voted to remove the full-time spot. Since then, the five part-time commissioners each spend nine months as president.

Malcom said the Mallard Fox Creek West Air Force Base and Industrial Park still has plenty of room to land major industry. He said the commission in the mid-1980s hurt the county in the long run when it allegedly told a German company that the county was not interested in moving to Lawrence.

“They were bringing in 600 jobs,” Malcom said. “When IP left the county, we certainly could have used those 600 extra jobs. … We have good industrial property and we need to get jobs. We have to be aggressive and show (companies) what we have.

Malcom ran and lost in the District 4 commission race four years ago, but redistricting after the release of the 2020 census has now placed Malcom in District 2. He resides in the community of Landersville, East west of Moulton. When District 1 expanded south, District 2 took over parts of District 4, according to county records.

Pool, 77, also sees Hatton Community Park continue to grow. Last month, lights became operational on both pitches and two more youth pitches are in the works.

“We don’t need the kids from Mount Hope to go all the way to Town Creek to play ball league,” he said. The plans also include a large play area for children. “I hope it will be developed in three or four years, which the county will be proud of. It will be comparable to Veterans Park (at Caddo). It’s not a political issue, the county had no money.

Both candidates want improved roads.

Pool said, “The Rebuild Alabama gas tax money has been a godsend, but with the pandemic and now higher fuel costs, people are buying fewer gallons, which hurts what we should. receive.”

Malcom said the No. 1 complaint he hears from residents is about poor road conditions. “There are holes in some of the roads in the county that are hard to get around,” Malcom said. “We have to maintain our roads.”

There is no Democratic Party challenger for the commission seat.

Office is looking for: Lawrence County District 2 Commissioner; salary: $26,062.63; term: four years

Political experience: 1983 to 1985 Chairman of the Lawrence County Commission

Job: Retired seller

Education: Graduated from Lawrence County High School; two years at Calhoun Community College

Online campaign site: Nothing

Office is looking for: Lawrence County District 2 Commissioner; salary: $26,062.63; term: four years

Political experience: Was elected to two terms as District 2 Commissioner

Job: Owner of Pool Farm Equipment Inc. in Hatton and Norman Pool Farms; two-term district commissioner 2

Education: Hatton High School graduate

Online campaign site: Nothing

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