Tuskegee leaders unveil new plan for city

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Eman Crooks and Natalie King grew up in Tuskegee, went to school at Tuskegee University, and are now debating whether to stay long-term.

"I'm waiting for the results. I'm waiting to see what's going to come," says Crooks.

Tuskegee native David Hoytt is anxious to see the city's glory days again.

"I think this a move in the right direction," says Hoytt.

Mayor Omar Neal and other community leaders unveiled the city's 10 year plan for residents to see it and say how they feel about it.

"Everything including our budget will be to undergird and support this plan," says Mayor Neal.

Neal says the city's finances are finally under control as they work to pay back a $3.2 million dollar debt owed to the IRS while hoping to return city employees to their full salaries soon.

Increasing sales tax revenue is the key.

"It's truly about being able to adapt to your situation and having a vision to create your money," says Hoytt.

The city council still has to approve the 10 year plan, but that doesn't mean development isn't already underway. Construction has begun on a new store going in right across from the municipal building. The Mayor says it can only help put the city back in the black.

"We want to be a business-friendly community," he adds.

Neal says one way to do that--get back to being a college-town so folks like Crooks and King have no choice but to stay.

"I'm excited to see efforts being made to make the community more cohesive," says King.

The city will hold one more unveiling night next month to give residents a chance to comment on the plan.

The city council will vote on the proposal in December.

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