TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The city of Tuscaloosa hosted a meeting that brought together several west Alabama municipalities.
Usually each January, the City of Tuscaloosa hosts a legislative breakfast to meet with state legislators about issues facing Tuscaloosa. This year, officials wanted to bring neighboring communities from West Alabama for input on addressing local issues. Tuscaloosa hosted a legislative dinner with the Alabama League of Municipalities Thursday.
“To go ahead and begin highlighting issues that are affecting cities across Alabama,” Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox explained.
That gave state legislators time to hear from York’s mayor about the town’s declining population and sales tax base and why Mayor Maddox wanted legislators to give more consideration to why adding more small cell towers on the right of way improves internet and cell service, but can also increase costs on cities and impact public safety.
“We all want the same thing and that’s 5G technology throughout the state of Alabama," Maddox said.
State Representative Rodney Sullivan made a case for adding a detox center and geriatric center to help keep the Pickens County Medical Center open.
“I think it’s very important to the community as far as economic development. Anything we’re trying to do to help grow the county and bring in new jobs. A lot of the things they ask for is healthcare in the county. So it’s vital,” Sullivan added.
The Alabama League of Municipalities hopes these efforts lead to productive discussions and solutions to specific problems affecting cities around the area.
"One of the things we try to do is have meetings like this and then meetings one on one, bringing local officials together with state policy makers to ensure that all perspectives are being considered,” said Greg Cochran, Deputy Director of the Alabama League of Municipalities.
The city of Tuscaloosa hosts the Alabama League of Municipalities State Conference in May 2020.