Two cities want the same museum

SHELBY COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Calera's mayor is making a pitch for a fire museum. He has the support of city councilors and business owners.

Mayor Jon Graham said, "We want this. The entire community is behind this 100%."  The city proposes putting the museum on a 4-acre site just off of I-65, near downtown Calera.

Graham said the location is perfect because it is close to the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum that is already popular.

Nearby business owners said they think the addition of a museum would bring an economic boost to them and the entire city.

"I think it would generate a lot of business in this town," said Rhonda Broadhead, the owner of Sisters II Hair Salon & Barber Shop. "If more businesses come to downtown it would help build the town back up again."

"I think it would be great," said Theresa Averett, the Sales Manager Advance Pawn Shop. "We see a ton of people after they visit the railroad museum, so another museum would be great."

Calera competes with Pelham for the museum. The original proposal to house the museum in the Pelham Civic Complex received mixed reviews from residents, so Mayor Don Murphy backed off the idea. The city is still submitting two other sites as possible locations for the museum.  

County Manager Alex Dudchock is expected to brief the Shelby County Commission on the issue Apr. 11, and could make a final recommendation for the location of the museum.

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